We Thinkers! Curriculum Series
About This Program
Target Population: Children ages 4-7+ with social learning differences who are considered neurodivergent, including autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral diagnoses, and/or language learning differences; other populations include neurotypically developing children who have experienced trauma, anxiety, or lack social and emotional supports
For children/adolescents ages: 4 – 7
The We Thinkers! Curriculum Series is one of several components of the larger Social Thinking® Methodology. It is an integrated social emotional curriculum series developed for children 4-7+ years of age and includes: We Thinkers! Volume 1: Social Explorers curriculum, We Thinkers! Volume 2: Social Problem Solvers curriculum, and We Thinkers! GPS, which includes the Group Collaboration, Play and Problem Solving Scale (GPS), observation and scoring tools, and related differentiated play activities. The entire kit includes 10 social storybooks, two curricula for professional/parents, one interactive assessment, and optional The Incredible Flexible You® music to support the concepts. This early learner curriculum series was developed to promote, self-awareness, social and emotional competencies, self-regulation, executive functions, and metacognition. The lessons are rooted in the use of a common set of social vocabulary which make abstract social concepts concrete. The curriculum is structured to include the following for each lesson: Opening routine, structured activities, dramatic play to reinforce the concept and vocabulary and a closing routine. There are rubrics for each concept and a fidelity/implementation checklist to ensure consistency.
The goals of the We Thinkers! Curriculum Series are:
- Learn about self-awareness and self-regulation.
- Learn how to interactively play and share space effectively with others.
View the Logic Model for We Thinkers! Curriculum Series.
The essential components of the We Thinkers! Curriculum Series include:
- Providing the interventionist using We Thinkers! Curriculum Series the background and tools needed to:
- Learn about how social cognitive lessons and strategies can strengthen specific building blocks for later social competencies.
- Teach how to interactively play and share space effectively with others
- Understand the importance of context as a foundation for teaching
- Understand how social observations (place and people) relate to social decision-making
- Assess a child’s ability to engage in real-time play-based interactions using provided checklists, observational tools and rubrics
- Understand the baseline level of play
- Understand how to develop embedded activities
- Use a structured treatment planning for teaching social and emotional concepts
- We Thinkers! Curriculum Series materials include:
- We Thinkers! 10 Storybooks: Each of the storybooks describes a social emotional concept via a concrete vocabulary term through the experiences of four children. The storybooks are available in digital format with audio read aloud for parents to review and support concepts at home.
- We Thinkers! Volumes 1 and 2 and We Thinkers! GPS [Group Collaboration, Play, Problem-Solving] address:
- How the Social World Works:
- Understanding one’s own thoughts and feelings
- Understanding others have their own thoughts and feelings
- Understanding that sometimes we have our own plan
- Understanding that other times there is a group plan
- Understanding how to use our eyes and other senses to gather social information
- Understanding how our bodies show we are listening or part of the group
- Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation:
- How to figure out the group plan
- How to put our bodies in the group
- How to gather information with our eyes, ears, and brain
- How to listen with our whole body
- How to figure out the size of the problem
- Executive Functions:
- How to use clues to make smart guesses
- How to figure out the hidden rules in situations
- How to use flexible thinking
- How to share and imagination
- How to react to the size of the problem
- Family Letter in Each Unit:
- Introduces the concept
- Explains its importance to social learning
- Includes activities to use outside the classroom/learning environment
- Visual Support Templates: Each unit includes visuals and graphics to reproduce to teach, expand, and support learning.
- Fidelity/Implementation Checklists: Each volume and the GPS includes a fidelity/implementation checklist.
- Optional Components:
- The Incredible Flexible You CD. This set of 10 family-friendly songs support in learning the 10 social and emotional vocabulary in the storybooks.
- Livestream or On-demand implementation training series offered for supporting and strengthening understanding and teaching with fidelity.
- Free support articles for topics covered in the We Thinkers! Curriculum Series available at https://www.socialthinking.com/Resources
We Thinkers! Curriculum Series directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:
- Social and emotional learning differences, behavioral challenges, disruptive behaviors, language-based learning delays, executive functioning challenges, play and relationship challenges, academic challenges, at-risk overidentification issues
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:
This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Common vocabulary is designed to be used across home and school environments which is why the parents are provided a family letter with each unit. Parents are also given examples of at-home activities to extend the learning and telecoaching or in-home modeling and coaching are suggested. Clinics are encouraged to include parents in the sessions to model the use of vocabulary to build social competencies.
Minimum: 30 minutes per unit to teach. Optimal: 2 hours of teaching and extension activities over the course of 4 weeks to embed each concept to activities and across environments. Once staff understands the concepts, the vocabulary can be adopted and infused throughout the school or agency. Schools typically use the 10 concepts in 10 months model. Sessions can be with individual children, small groups, or classrooms.
10 months (School year)
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Adoptive Home
- Birth Family Home
- Foster / Kinship Care
- Outpatient Clinic
- Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
- Group or Residential Care
- School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)
We Thinkers! Curriculum Series includes a homework component:
There are family letters and extension activities for each unit.
Parent letters are available in other languages as needed.
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
No additional resources are needed to implement this curricula. The storybooks are available in both paper and digital format for classroom, teletherapy, or tele-education.
Manuals and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
Providers should have the necessary educational requirements to be in their positions as teachers, speech/language therapists, occupational therapists, mental health professionals, or similar occupations are able to follow the curriculum guide and implement these concepts and lessons. Parents and support staff (paraprofessionals, caretakers, aides) are also able to reinforce the vocabulary using the storybooks, but may not be as comfortable using the full curriculum and play scale.
There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.
Tarshis, N., Hendrix, R., Zweber-Palmer, K., & Winner, M. (2016). The We-Thinkers Curriculum Series: Volume 1. Think Social Publishing, Inc. https://www.socialthinking.com/Products/we-thinkers-volume-1-deluxe-package
Zweber-Palmer, K., Tarshis, N., Hendrix, R., & Winner, M. (2016). The We-Thinkers Curriculum Series: Volume 2. Think Social Publishing, Inc. https://www.socialthinking.com/Products/we-thinkers-volume-2-deluxe-package
Winner, M., Tarshis, N., Zweber-Palmer, K., & Hendrix, R. (2016). The We-Thinkers Curriculum Series: Volume 2: Group Collaboration, Play, Problem Solving. Think Social Publishing, Inc. https://www.socialthinking.com/Products/group-collaboration-play-problem-solving-scale-assessment
Music: Streaming on Amazon Music and Google Play or CD on CD Baby.
There is training available for this program.
- Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP
phone: (408) 557-8595
There are two recorded 3-hour courses for Volume 1.
The Teaching Early Learners through Play training course is described at this link: https://www.socialthinking.com/conferences/course-descriptions/teaching-early-learners-through-play
There are also two recorded 3.5 hour courses for Volume 2 and the GPS.
The What Does Play Have to Do with Classroom Learning? Exploring Social-Executive Functioning and Social-Emotional Learning for Early Learners training course is described at this link: https://www.socialthinking.com/conferences/course-descriptions/executive-functioning-social-emotional-learning-early-learners
Customized trainings for schools, clinics, and other institutions are available via zoom or in-person teaching and follow-up coaching through one of our 10 trained speakers/trainers.
Number of days/hours:
There are currently four 3-hour livestream trainings available for this curriculum.
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for We Thinkers! Curriculum Series.
Crooke, P. J., Olswang, L., & Winner, M. G. (2016). Thinking socially: Teaching social knowledge to foster social behavioral change. Topics in Language Disorders, 36(3), 284–298. https://doi.org/10.1097/TLD.0000000000000094
Crooke, P. J., & Winner, M. G. (2016). Social Thinking® Methodology: Evidence-based or empirically supported? A response to Leaf et al. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9(4), 403–408. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-016-0151-y
Crooke, P. J., & Winner, M. G. (2012). Social Thinking®: A developmental treatment approach for students with social learning/social pragmatic challenges. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 16(2), 62–69. https://www.socialthinking.com/Articles?name=developmental-treatment-approach-students-learning-issues
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: April 2021
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2021
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2021