MindWing’s Digital Icons were first created in the wake of the Covid-19 emergency in order to offer access to tech-based material creation while many professionals were struggling to implement teletherapy as best we could. As you may know, the icon sets offer easy copying and pasting of the icons (including Story Grammar Marker®, Braidy the StoryBraid® and Thememaker®) into various “blank slate” resources. This allows us to use word processors (Google Docs/MS Word), presentation tools (Google Slides/PowerPoint) or whiteboard software (Smart Notebook) as powerful narrative and expository teaching tools.
I’m in kind of a hybrid state currently, having many students returned to in-person services with some remaining remote, mostly for convenience. From my teletherapy-only days and beyond, one of my favorite parts of having these icons available to me is the ability to create my own custom visuals. Particularly powerful is being able to paste icons into visual supports so that students can see the overlaps between one strategy and another, or even between text structures.
In my own work in self-regulation “in these uncertain times,” I often find strategies that will apply to my students (I highly recommend the excellent Aura app). SLPs and other educators are warranted in applying concepts in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and one simple one I found for self-regulation is checking in on your TEA: the current state, connections and causal relationships between Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions. Wait, aren’t those also story elements? Indeed, they are.
Having the icons available for these and other elements (e.g., we can also talk about the Kick-Off that leads to thoughts in-the-moment) allowed me to very quickly create a short series of activities for students.
In this case, following the Gradual Release of Responsibility model, I started with an “I DO” modeling how TEA relates to the situation of my having several auditions for Jeopardy! this summer and now being in a “pool” to become a contestant on the show...maybe, maybe not. You can see that (multiple targets always welcome!) we also described tea and discussed some idioms using the word. In following lessons I had students think about and describe their own example of TEA they experienced during the week (“WE DO”).
As another example for you, I have been working with a student through many examples of LIST expository text structure in current events and nonfiction reading. We moved on to SEQUENCE and, with a passage about Susan B. Anthony, mapped the order of events from the text. It was helpful for me to show him the connection between LIST and SEQUENCE by gradually pasting over a LIST visual with the SEQUENCE icons as shown below, a key idea being that the order matters.
Happy pasting! We are sure you can find many ways to use narrative and expository icons flexibly. If you have any examples of your own, please let us know in the comments.