Going to the Store Social Stories

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Community outings can be difficult for students with special needs. Social stories are a resource that can help prepare students for these outings. In this lesson, you'll find examples of social stories about going to the store.

Community Outings

Students with cognitive and social disabilities often need to be taught how to handle community outings such as going to the store. Social stories are short stories that feature individuals performing the target task step by step. These stories can be read with students to prepare them for community outings. It may help to personalize the stories for your students with the names and pictures of their stores and specific items they may need to buy when possible.

Going to the Store Social Stories

Story One: Shopping on My Best Behavior

I'm going to the store with Grandpa. When I go, Mom says I need to be on my best behavior. When I asked what ''best behavior'' meant, Mom told me there are two kinds of shoppers: good shoppers and bad shoppers.

A good shopper walks calmly through the aisles, staying with Grandpa. A bad shopper runs up and down the aisles and plays hide-and-seek with another shopper.

A good shopper helps Grandpa by getting things off the shelf when Grandpa asks. A bad shopper grabs food off the shelf and drops it on the floor or knocks over the display shelves.

A good shopper uses an indoor voice and good manners, saying ''please'' and ''thank you'' to the people at the store. A bad shopper shouts and forgets to use good manners.

Now that I know what ''best behavior'' means, I know that I can be a good shopper while I'm at the store with Grandpa.

Story Two: Making a Grocery List

I'm going to the grocery store. Before I leave, I make a list of everything I need to buy at the store.

I know I need oatmeal for breakfast, apples for lunch, and chips for snack. I ask Mom if she needs anything, and she tells me to buy flour and olive oil. My grocery list looks like this:

  • Oatmeal
  • Apples
  • Chips
  • Flour
  • Olive oil

When I get to the store, there are so many different things to buy. Making a list helps me in that I don't forget what I need and I don't buy lots of extra stuff. Time for shopping!

Story Three: How Much Does it Cost?

I have my list and I am at the grocery store. I have $30 to spend, so I need to keep track of how much everything costs as I choose my groceries. I use my grocery list to help me keep track.

First, I get oatmeal. The sign says the oatmeal costs $2.97, which is almost $3.00. This is called estimating. I learned how to estimate in school. I write $3.00 on my list beside the word 'oatmeal.' Next, I find the flour, which costs $1.82. That is close to $2.00, so I write $2.00 on my list. Soon, my list looks like this:

  • Oatmeal: $3.00
  • Apple: $4.00
  • Chips: $3.00
  • Flour: $2.00
  • Olive oil: $5.00

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