Introduction to Storymovies™
Social Concepts and Skills at School – Volume 1
Welcome to the new informative fun of Storymovies™! A Storymovie™ is a Social Story™ illustrated with a short, professionally developed movie shot on location, merging descriptions of social concepts and skills with footage of live situations. Developed specifically for individuals with autism spectrum disorders to help them understand the interactions and situations that surround them, it is likely that Storymovies™ may be useful with other audiences. In all Storymovies™, a black and white freeze frame – that frequently stills an important social cue – occasionally appears with an announcer reading superimposed text; this is the Story that describes what is occurring and why. When the announcer finishes reading the segment, the action continues.
The Storymovies™ on Volume 1 are designed for student’s ages 8-12 diagnosed with high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. The Social Stories™ on this DVD were written by Carol Gray, developer of Social StoriesTM strategies that are used worldwide with children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); Volume 1 addresses school related concepts and skills and the unspoken factors that give meaning and predictability. It is hoped that these Storymovies™ - the first set of officially endorsed Social Stories™ illustrated by live action on location – will provide a unique, effective, and fun social learning resource for many students. (Click here for a list of Volume 1 Storymovies™)
Storymovies™ are flexible. Whether on a teacher’s shelf or nestled alongside a family’s collection of favorite DVDs, Storymovies™ require no specialized training to implement and are equally ‘user friendly’ in the hands of parents or professionals. In a school or clinical setting, Storymovies™ may complement a current social curriculum or initiative, and may be used to achieve existing classroom or individual objectives.
Storymovies™ utilize features that are impossible with other forms of illustration, like instant reply, slow motion, and relaxing background music. Carefully placed where needed, instant replay and slow motion are used to provide an immediate second opportunity to look for social cues that may occur too fast or elude identification altogether. Background music is optional; a simple click on the DVD menu turns the music on or off.
The Organization of each DVD makes Storymovies™ easy to use. Each chapter addresses a theme. Storymovies™ are grouped into chapters that build one or more basic concepts related to that theme. They are listed from simpler to more advanced topics, and designed to be used in sequence. Any Storymovie™ may also be used in isolation, making it possible to skip a review of topics that are already understood.
The Standard Edition includes a color version of each Storymovie™ , with optional background music, plus a Guide to Storymovies™ Booklet for parents and professionals. The booklet includes ideas to personalize and add meaning to any Storymovie™, followed by guides to each chapter. This makes it possible to become acquainted with Storymovies™ in general, and the contents of a specific DVD, within a very short time.
Many of the Storymovies™ within a chapter use the same movie for illustration. There are two important reasons for this. Working from the same movie introduces new details on a familiar backdrop, and focuses attention on the Story to emphasize related ideas within a chapter. To demonstrate the important ties between concepts, ideas covered in one chapter are mentioned and applied in subsequent chapters and DVDs, with new movies as a backdrop. This promotes the generalization of concepts to new contexts, and encourages the retrieval of previous experience and/or information relevant to the current topic.
The Professional Edition of each DVD has increased flexibility to reach a wider audience and/or varied needs. It includes The Standard Edition DVD and Guide to Storymovies™ Booklet plus an additional DVD and CD that contain the following:
- A black and white version of each Storymovie™ to encourage generalization, or to use with students who may literally interpret color in a movie (i.e. The teacher decides who collects the lunch money when she wears purple).
- A black and white version of each movie (minus all freeze frames, text and announcer) to use to determine a student’s current understanding of a concept prior to introducing a new chapter, and/or for review of important concepts and skills.
- A color version of each movie (minus all freeze frames, text and announcer) to use to determine a student’s current understanding of a concept prior to introducing a new chapter, and/or for review of important concepts and skills
- Games and activities for each chapter to reinforce concepts and encourage students to use and apply important vocabulary in a positive and relaxed context.
- Printable photos from each Storymovie™ to illustrate coordinating materials developed by parents and professionals. These still frames include the black and white freeze frames from each Storymovie™ on the DVD, selected color scenes, and close ups on the main actors.
Though it is called The Professional Edition, parents may find a variety of uses for the additional resources it contains, just as educators or clinicians may decide The Standard Edition meets their needs.