Sunday, January 6, 2013

winter clothing social stories - freebies

As many special education teachers do, I'm sure, I have several students who struggle with selecting appropriate clothing for the weather. I'm not talking about a little kid forgetting to wear a coat or not bothering with mittens when they go outside in the snow - that is generally pretty ingrained by preschool and lower elementary teachers by the time they get to my class.

No, I'm talking about the pre-teen and teenaged kids who come to my classroom in 20-degree weather, take off their coat and boots to reveal shorts and a tank top....and then proceed to complain all day about being cold! I keep a stockpile of track pants and sweatshirts in my room for that reason, but at some point my students need to learn to dress themselves for the weather. They are at the point that it is age-appropriate - not to mention an essential pre-adult life skill - to choose their own clothing.

I had a social story in my room for a long time about choosing weather-appropriate clothing, but it was getting too "little kid" for my tastes as my students get older, and it wasn't all that great-looking, either. Ah, the days before  fonts other than Comic Sans and clip art other than Boardmaker images...

I re-did two versions of this social story this weekend, one more appropriate for boys and the other for girls. I put them up for free on my TPT store; you can snag them by clicking the cover images below:

A couple more notes about teaching to choose appropriate clothing: Some students may have sensory issues that cause them to need to wear clothing that you or I would think is too warm or too cold. I do not suggest attempting to use these stories with these students. As long as they are safe (ie, they are not going to get frostbite if they go outside!) my inclination is to let sensory reasons go.

These stories are for those students who just do not understand - or who need a more scripted/list-style instruction to be able to select appropriate clothing. These students will often complain about being too cold, even if they have chosen their own clothing. Even if they can answer the question, "What should you wear in the winter, shorts or pants?" correctly, they may need a more explicit script in their minds to make it "stick." I made the text in these stories simple and repetitive: "If I wear _________ in the winter, I will be cold and uncomfortable." or "If I wear ____________ in the winter, I will stay warm and comfortable." etc.

And with that...I'm off to bed! First day back to school after break tomorrow...hope I'm ready. I'm looking forward to seeing my students, but not looking forward to getting up early! Best of luck to everyone else who is starting back tomorrow, too!


  1. Thank you for sharing! I just wrote an IEP goal for this and now I have stumbled on your great resource :D I was also planning on bringing in some clothing and having my student "pick out" outfits based on a weather prompt and/or sort by season.

    I just started blogging and would love it if you followed me!

    My Best,


  2. These look great! I know - I never understand why when my students come in wearing shorts!!! :)

    Can't believe school starts back up tomorrow! Brie @ Breezy Special Ed

  3. My kids have SUCH problem with this! Thanks for the freebies :)

    - Sasha

    The Autism Helper

  4. Thank you so much for sharing! I have been working on appropriate clothing with my children with autism...this will be a great addition!

  5. These are wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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