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Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Predicting Consequences
Ages: 6-10   Grades: 1-5

Students ask themselves "What if. . .?" as they learn to anticipate consequences, weigh the pros and cons, problem solve social situations, and make good decisions.   


  • Develop age-appropriate social language and interaction skills
  • Make and keep friends
  • Interact successfully in the classroom
  • Develop flexibility in thinking
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The activity pages consist of interesting graphic organizers, photos, and art supported with specific, clear directions.  Teach your students to:   

  • predict what will happen next in a situation
  • predict multiple outcomes
  • make decisions based on predicted outcomes
  • understand indirect requests
  • match their communication style to the audience
  • evaluate predictions
  • consider how their actions affect others

These learning strategies are used to help students predict consequences and interact in socially appropriate ways:  

  • modeling
  • observation
  • direct instruction
  • discussion
  • role-playing
  • other guided practice

Extra helps include:

  • pretest/posttest
  • progress checklist 
  • answer key

You may purchase Predicting Consequences individually or as a 6-book set.  The 6-book set consists of:

Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Conversations 
Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Emotions
Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Making Friends
Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Making Social Inferences
Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Nonverbal Language
Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Predicting Consequences


Copyright © 2009

40 pages, pretest/posttest, progress checklist, answer key
  • Children with language difficulties, particularly those with pragmatic impairments, need specific teaching to help social understanding (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Research has established the reciprocal relationship between language skill and social acceptability among peers (Gallagher, 1993).
  • The abilities to adjust messages to listeners' needs, initiate conversation successfully, ask appropriate questions, contribute well to ongoing conversations, communicate intentions clearly, address everyone when joining a group, and make more positive than negative comments are related to peer acceptance and sociometric status (Putallaz & Gottman, 1981; Rubin, LeMare, & Lollis, 1990; Gallagher, 1993).
  • Conversation partners require skills in both verbal and nonverbal interactive behaviors (Sillars, 1991).
  • Social skills intervention can improve children's social cognitive skills (Timler, Olswang, & Coggins, 2005).
  • Targeted language intervention with at-risk students may result in more cautionary, socially acceptable behaviors (Moore-Brown, Sanger, Montgomery, & Nishida, 2002).
  • Only 7% of the information we communicate to others depends upon the words we say; 93% depends on nonverbal communication (Mehrabian, 1971).
  • Students with language disorders often perform much like younger, typically-developing students on measures of pragmatic development (Lapadat, 1991).
  • Social and emotional development lay the foundation for later success in school, work, and life.  Addressing students' social and emotional needs also increases their capacity to learn (Franklin, 2008).
  • Language facility is a key component of social competence (Gallagher, 1991; Guralnick, 1992).

Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Predicting Consequences incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


Franklin, J. (2008, January 29). Social and emotional learning: Educating the whole child. Southern Illinoisan. Retrieved February 7, 2008, from 

Gallagher, T. (1991). Language and social skills: Implications for clinical assessment and intervention with school-age children. In T. Gallagher (Ed.), Pragmatics of language: Clinical practice issues. San Diego, CA: Singular Publishing Group.

Gallagher, T. (1993). Language skill and the development of social competence in school-age children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 24, 199-205.

Guralnick, M. (1992). A hierarchical model for understanding children's peer-related social competence. In S. Odom, S. McConnell, & M. McEvoy (Eds.), Social competence of young children with disabilities. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Lapadat, J.D. (1991). Pragmatic language skills of students with language and/or learning disabilities: A quantitative synthesis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 24, 147-158.

Mehrabian, A. (1971). Silent messages. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Moore-Brown, B., Sanger, D., Montgomery, J., & Nishida, B. (2002, April 30). Communication and violence: New roles for speech-language pathologists. The ASHA Leader, 7, 4-14.

Putallaz, M., & Gottman, J. (1981). An interactional model of children's entry into peer groups. Child Development, 52,

Rubin, K., LeMare, L., & Lollis, S. (1990). Social withdrawal in childhood: Developmental pathways to peer rejection. In S. Asher & J. Coie (Eds.), Peer rejection in childhood. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Sillars, A.L. (1991). Behavior observation. In B.M. Montgomery & S. Duck (Eds.), Studying interpersonal interaction. New York: Guilford Press.

Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.

Timler, G., Olswang, L., & Coggins, T. (2005). "Do I know what I need to do?" Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 36, 73-85.


Carolyn LoGiudice, Paul F. Johnson


Carolyn LoGiudice, M.A., CCC-SLP, wrote and edited products and tests for LinguiSystems for 25 years, incorporating her previous experience as an SLP in school and clinic settings.  She is now retired and savoring time with her family, friends, and hobbies.

Paul F. Johnson, B.A., is a writer and editor at LinguiSystems.  He has a special interest in developing thinking and communication skills in students of all ages.  He also enjoys music, cooking, gardening, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Carolyn and Paul have collaborated to develop several publications, including Story Comprehension To Go, No-Glamour Sequencing Cards, and Spotlight on Reading & Listening Comprehension.


Age-appropriate social skills are essential for students to get along well with their peers and to foster strong self-esteem.  Social skills are rarely taught directly as a school subject, and most students gradually master social skills without formal instruction.  Those who fail to infer expectations and "rules" from personal interactions with others are at risk for being criticized by their peers or, worse, ignored.  Students on the autism spectrum are particularly at risk for poor social skills due to the nature of the disorder; many students with language and/or learning disabilities are also at risk.

The activities in Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary highlight specific aspects of social skills and include strategies of direct instruction, modeling, observation, discussion, role-playing, and other guided practice in contexts of everyday interaction.  These activities can be presented to individual students or small groups of students.  Small groups are preferred because they expose students to their peers' perspectives and offer a safe setting for practicing social skills.

For an overview of a student's social skills functioning, administer the Social Language Development Test Elementary (Bowers, Huisingh, & LoGiudice, 2008).  Use the pretest/posttest to check the student's awareness and functioning in the appropriate area addressed by one of the six books in Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary:

  • Conversations
  • Emotions                             
  • Making Friends
  • Making Social Inferences 
  • Nonverbal Language                  
  • Predicting Consequences

An important two-word phrase eludes most students with social skills deficits: "What if?"  Due to their inability to anticipate consequences, they often make decisions that result in negative outcomes and fail to take action in situations that would result in very positive ones.  Before leaping into action, these students fail to take the step to ask themselves, "What will happen if I do this?" or even, "What will happen if I don't do this?"  Predicting consequences is only part of the equation: weighing the pros and cons of multiple consequences is essential to both successful problem solving and social interaction.  The activities and instruction in Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Predicting Consequences attempt to address a wide range of prediction goals, including these:

  • predict what will happen next in a situation
  • understand and follow rules in different settings
  • predict multiple outcomes
  • make decisions based on predicted outcomes
  • understand indirect requests
  • use different communication styles depending on your audience
  • evaluate predictions
  • consider how actions affect others
  • predict consequences in narratives

Here are some tips and activities to improve your students' abilities to predict consequences:

  • Understanding basic cause and effect is essential to making accurate predictions.  Ask your students basic questions to activate their own experience with cause and effect ("Why do we brush our teeth?  Why do we go to school?  Why do we look both ways before crossing the street?")  Then have them make predictions using the same situations: "What might happen if we don't brush our teeth?  What might happen if we don't go to school?  What might happen if we don't look both ways before crossing the street?"
  • Many students are not only unable to predict the consequences of their actions, they are unprepared to face them when they occur.  Make sure students are aware of the resources they have available to them when their safety is in question.  Talk about hypothetical situations and what students should do if they find themselves lost in the city, if they are injured on the playground, if someone is damaging their property at school, etc.
  • Often when we talk about predicting consequences in the social realm, we focus on avoiding negative outcomes.  Unfortunately, students with social deficits and their classroom teachers often have strained relationships.  If you observe a student in such a situation, talk about how appropriate actions can result in more positive consequences, such as praise, classroom privileges, and a better relationship with the teacher.  Brainstorm behaviors with your students that will result in more positive outcomes in the classroom.  Encourage your students to think about and practice "teacher-pleasing" behaviors, such as asking questions only when it is your turn, following directions on assignments carefully, observing other students for behavioral cues, and using appropriate loudness when talking in various settings.
  • Predictions are not always accurate.  When your student has begun to anticipate possible outcomes, he will find that even though he has put into practice a strategy for predicting outcomes, things may turn out completely differently.  Be ready to review your students' thought processing for any flawed reasoning that might be avoided in the future.  Also, reassure your student that no one predicts accurately all the time, even an adult.

We hope you and your students enjoy Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Predicting Consequences.

Carolyn and Paul