Social competence is the ability to function and interact socially with other people, especially peers, in an adaptive manner to get your needs met. Communication, both verbal and non‐verbal, is important to a child’s social competence. Communication includes understanding others and being understood by others. Research by Corbett and others (2016) suggests that theatre participation can increase successful communication and social competence in children with autism. I suggest that theatre participation can enhance the social competence of all children, including communication skills.
What does this have to do with children’s books and children’s literature? Sometimes in literature and English classes children perform plays. This is a useful practice in terms of enhancing social competence. It also helps children, to enjoy, engage in, and remember the books. To help facilitate that, I have commissioned the wonderful Marcie Colleen to create Theatre Scripts for each of my children’s books. She has created wonderful scripts in addition to Standards-based Teacher Guides. These supplements, along with the songs I write, help children to engage, enjoy, and remember my books. They also help enhance children’s social competence.
I suggest that teachers, librarians, and parents go to my website and review the Educational Materials there. You will find a treasure trove of activities to enrich children’s lives. Here’s the URL link to the materials for Darlene’s Double Dutch Dreams, for example:
Research ‐ Improvement in social competence using a randomized trial of a theatre intervention or children with autism spectrum disorder (2016) in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders by Corbett and others.