Socio Grams

I had been teaching a few years and was fairly comfortable with parent teachers conferences when I had a parent ask,

How does my son get along with the other students?

I responded. I thought he got along with the other students well.

The father informed me he was very bossy at home and wondered if he was at school. I said he was very opinionated in class and when he worked in a groups, but so were other students and I believed they respected each other’s views. I thought these interactions were healthy for all involved and he didn't seem to be bossy.

I was very pleased with the question, however I was really taken aback, because I had no data to support my statements about how his son interacted with other students, other than observations which I hurriedly recollected.

I really did not know how other students felt about working with this particular student. Maybe I was just observing those who were able to resist him, because they were assertive enough to handle his assertions, but maybe there were others who were not as assertive and felt he was, bossy.

If I had constructed a socio gram I would have had better data to share with his parents and relieve their concerns.

Over the years I would learn that these parents had three children and that was their first question at every conference. They felt that how people worked with other people was the most important thing that anyone needed to learn and that was their major reason they sent their children to school.

Socio gram Example

The socio gram is a graphical representation of the choice patterns of the group. The following information will help create a socio gram.

Decide on a task for students to complete to give you the information you desire. Below are several examples.

You may have students do one of these or create one of your own. You could include an item on an interest finder to collect the information. Your results will depend very much on the statement you select. Select one which will give you the information you most desire.

  1. Name two students you trust to help you.
  2. Write the names of two of your classmates with whom you would like to work.
  3. Write the names of two of your classmates with whom you would like to play at recess.

When you have your data you are ready for the next steps.

  1. Use a piece of graph paper and make a chart.
  2. Label one side choosers and the other side chosen.
  3. Put the names of all students both vertically and horizontally.
  4. Put a check in each cell according to the data collected.
Jim Schoo Frank Furter Candy Caine Carrie DeLode Willy Doit
Jim Schoo   X     X
Frank Furter X   X X X
Candy Caine          
Carrie DeLode X X X    
Willy Doit       X  
  1. Use scratch paper or mentally look for groups of students who chose each other and students who were not chosen. If there are a number of groups plan to have a cluster for each group. The students who were not chosen or chosen a few times can be placed around the clusters.
  2. Draw a circle to represent each student, or draw circles for girls and squares for boys.
  3. Draw a line from the student who chose a student to the student they chose and put an arrow pointing to the chosen student.
  4. Identify cliques, stars, cleavage, mutual choices, and isolates.
    • Cliques are groups that chose each other and have very few choices outside of the group.
    • Stars are the pupils that are chosen the most.
    • Cleavage is when groups are not linked, at all, with other groups.
    • Mutual choices is when individuals choose each other.
    • Isolates are individuals which are not selected.


The number of times a student was chosen could indicate the student’s popularity or the ability of the student to work cooperatively with other students.



Management - Self development & individual, group, & classroom management

Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
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