Many of the students I taught lacked social skills due to their disabilities and one of the reasons was that they were unable to understand other people’s feelings. They could not decipher the expressions on their faces and understand the emotions that other people were feeling. At inappropriate times, my students would laugh when another person was sad or angry. This caused many problems in relationships with other students and teachers. We spent a lot of time working on social skills because that was necessary in order to be successful in any given situation.
The characters in The Transporters involve different vehicles of transportation with real people faces on them. As they go about different situations, we can see their faces as they show different emotions. Each story line focuses on a different emotion and we can see how different faces look like when they show this emotion. I really liked that the faces were of people different ages, gender, and races so that a student could relate emotions to different types of people. They would not think that an emotion is only related to one type.
I know this is geared to students who are diagnosed with autism but I think it is also a great resource for children with mental disabilities. I have taught students who have had these disabilities and I think the predictability of the characters in these stories along with faces that will become familiar are helpful in teaching students these skills. My students with autism loved videos that weren’t too over stimulating and The Transporters fit the bill. The stories are not too long either so students won’t get bored watching them.
I also like at the end of each story, the students can take a quiz. There are two choices: easy quiz (with two choices for answers) or hard quiz (which had three choices for answers). Students love having choices but not too many so just having the option of picking which quiz is good for them. I like how the quiz is given orally along with pictures to go with the emotions which reinforces the words to the facial expressions.
I could see this being used as a group or individual lesson. For students who need more practice, they can watch the story again if necessary. According to the research given in the press release, “after 15 minutes a day for four weeks, most children with autism caught up with other children in their ability to recognize emotions.”