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Teaching "Same" and "Different" Using a Child's Favorite Characters

So, I just found out that there are several different "versions" of the character "C-3PO" in Star Wars: C-3PO, R-3PO and K-3PO. These droids are gold, red, and silver, respectively. I have a student who loves Star Wars characters (and drawing), so we looked at pictures of these characters in a book, drew them, and wrote descriptions of them. We're working on writing simple descriptions of things, which lends itself really well to incorporating a student's interests into the activity.

Child's drawing of the three droids.

I forgot to take pictures of our descriptions, but we wrote them on three cards, like this:

A chart with written descriptions of each droid, such as "C-3PO is a droid. C-3PO is yellow."

To practice the terms "same" and "different," we did a sort of copies of the student's drawings. I would say things like, "This one is yellow and this one is yellow so they are the SAME." Then, I would say this sentence and have the student fill-in the blank while I pointed to each droid: "Yellow and yellow are the ______."

For a picture with two different color droids, I would say (while I pointed to each droid), "This one is red and this one is yellow, so they are DIFFERENT." I would have the student fill-in, "This one is red and this one is yellow, so they are ______."

I would do the same process for each picture and we would put them in the correct place in our sort.

Sorting pairs of droids based on whether they match each other or they are different.

I prompted most of these as described above until the student got used to the two terms and then started to fade the prompts. Prompt fading is a critical part of teaching skills like this, particularly when you're using verbal prompting. If prompt fading isn't done, the student might become dependent on the prompt and not learn the skill independently. For some great suggestions on how to fade prompts, check out this blog post from The Autism Helper. I also always recommend getting trained on these procedures from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®).

We also made a Venn Diagram using our description cards. I color-coded it with each droid's color to help show what was happening on the diagram.

A venn diagram comparing and contrasting C-3PO and R-3PO.

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