Play, Pause, Learn: BEST OF 2020

Whether you are seeing students in person, solely via teletherapy, or some combination of the two, revitalize your social cognition and language work with some wonderful animations. If you need ideas and activities, check out my resouces at the end of the list. As always, please preview CAREFULLY to make sure they are a good fit for your particular students. These are in no particular order. Enjoy!


CGI Animated Short Film: “Maca & Roni – Cleaning” by Kyungmin Woo

Love this series and wish there were more now! Loveable characters and fab facial expressions mean everyone will be engaged. Feelings, inference, narrative, perspective taking, and more – it’s all here!

CGI Animated Short Film: “Maca & Roni – Super Glue” by Kyungmin Woo

What can happen when you try to fix a toaster? Well, if you are Maca and Roni – LOTS! Great animation to work on size of problem/size of feelings. Yes, they get big! Enjoy.

CGI Animated Short Film: “Maca & Roni – Super Fridge” by Kyungmin Woo

Even good friends sometimes forget to take care of each other. What’s so great about the Maca and Roni series is that you can adjust your work based on your students – make it easier, make it harder, just be sure you watch these!

Pixar Short Films #25 La Luna 2011

This video has been around for quite a while! I like using it when talking about how different people can have different opinions – and that’s okay! Love how the young boy takes a little from each of them in this very sweet, lovely story.

Non Stop Hamilton Animatic

Yes, the tunes are fabulous, but so is the portrayal of feelings and nonverbal communication. Older teens and young adults appreciate working with animations that are a little more sophisticated in style and content, so check this one out!

VILLAIN DEKU – The Other Side – BNHA Animatic

Another one for older students. I am amazed at how many older teens and young adults know ALL the lyrics! A genre I wasn’t familiar with, but what’s most important is that the social learning materials we use are relevant and engaging to those with whom we work. Again, there is so much richness in the non-verbal. Be prepared to be impressed!

CGI 3D Animation Short Film HD “Paint” by The Animation School

Sometimes it’s hard to find good animations that portray conflict but aren’t overly violent. This one fits the bill – remember to discuss how hard it can be to stop ourselves when we “get on a roll.” And enjoy the twist at the end!

CGI 3D Animation Short Film HD “Scrambled” by Polder Animation

Another great story that appeals to a broad age range. Focus on feelings and thoughts for less advanced students, more complex inference and perspective for those a bit further along. Super sweet animation about a Rubix Cube who has feelings and intention, and can communicate them!

Sesame Street – Bert Feels Silly

Although I don’t agree with the title (I’m pretty sure Bert actually is feeling frustrated) I love this animation! The repetitive pattern allows students to make predictions. And of course, talk about friendship. You know me, never found a Sesame Street animation I don’t like!

Helping mom start a ZOOM meeting – Hebrew with English subtitles

I absolutely cannot resist putting this one in. You may be able to relate – and so may your older students who are often asked by adults to give them tech coaching. Great material to jumpstart conversations about patience, regulation and kindness!

Want more activities to use with these videos and even more YouTube recommendations?

Yes, we can use great animations to work on conversation. Conversation in Real-Time is included in the Conversation Paths Pack – click here to learn more!

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©Anna Vagin, PhD 2021

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