Understandings: A Primary Resource Unit To Promote Acceptance and Understanding Of Exceptional Children
by Patricia Kulyk
SSTA Research Centre Report #92-04: 104 pages, $17.
 
Introduction * This unit is part of a larger work from the Project submitted to the College of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, that contains the rationale and the supporting research base.
Teachers Guide
Teaching Module 1: An Overview of Differences
Teaching Module 2: Visual Impairment
Teaching Module 3: Hearing Impairment
Teaching Module 4: Physical Impairments
Teaching Module 5: Mental Handicaps
Teaching Module 6: Other Disabilities
Teaching Module 7: Wrap-Up Session
  Back to: Students - Diverse Needs

The SSTA Research Centre grants permission to reproduce up to three copies of each report for personal use. Each copy must acknowledge the author and the SSTA Research Centre as the source. A complete and authorized copy of each report is available from the SSTA Research Centre.
The opinions and recommendations expressed in this report are those of the author and may not be in agreement with SSTA officers or trustees, but are offered as being worthy of consideration by those responsible for making decisions.


Introduction

Mainstreaming of exceptional students into regular classroom settings has increased significantly within the last ten years.

Arguments supporting mainstreaming often revolve around the belief that the regular classroom setting permits handicapped children and non-handicapped children to learn from one another. It is argued that the handicapped child benefits socially and academically from interaction with non-handicapped peers. The classroom setting is said to be more realistic of the society in which the handicapped child will have to work and live. As well, the regular classroom students develop tolerance and understanding and appreciation of individual differences.

Unfortunately, mainstreamed children often become socially rejected and isolated from the regular classroom students. Hence, it is essential that the regular students he exposed to the kinds of experiences that will promote understanding and development of positive attitudes toward people with exceptionalities. It will be their attitudes that ultimately will decide whether or not the exceptional child is accepted, not only in the classroom, but in the community as well.

One method to help ensure that the mainstreaming process will be successful is to implement strategies and instructional programs that help promote positive attitudes toward exceptional individuals in the regular classroom students. Strategies identified as being useful are curricular interventions, the use of print and non-print materials, simulations and role playing, group discussions, interactions with exceptional individuals, guest speakers, hands-on materials, and instructional programs. Researchers have shown that these methods and techniques are valuable in positively modifying regular classroom students' attitudes toward exceptional individuals.

It is critical that developing a positive attitude toward exceptional students is begun early. Primary teachers can be the major influence on developing these positive attitudes in young students. With this in mind the resource unit Understandings: A Primary Resource Unit to Promote Acceptance and Understanding of Exceptional Children has been developed. The resource unit contains a Teacher's Guide, Teaching Modules, and a Resource Guide. The Resource Guide lists available books, films, videos, and tells where to get them. As well, organizations that provide free pamphlets, articles, books, tours, and speakers on request are listed.

Regular students play an important role in mainstreaming. Their attitude toward the exceptional child is an important factor in determining the success or failure of mainstreaming. "Understandings" is designed to help regular students to develop positive attitudes toward exceptional individuals. Hopefully the long-range effect of this program will be that these same young children will carry these positive attitudes with them throughout their lives.


Table of Contents


Teacher's Guide

"Understandings" has been developed to be used with primary students. It is designed to introduce young children to various disabilities and to make them more aware of the needs and capabilities of individuals with disabilities. The goal of the resource unit is to promote acceptance and understanding of exceptional children.

There are seven Teaching Modules in the resource unit. The disabilities included in the program are visual, hearing, mental, and physical. Each teaching module contains lesson plans that help to develop positive attitudes toward exceptional individuals. Lesson plans provide a Teacher Preparation, Definitions, an Introduction Activity, Student Activity, Guide for Class Discussion, and a Follow-up Activity. Each lesson reinforces the other lessons. The Teacher Preparation section includes things such as books, films, speakers to invite, tours to arrange and materials to have on hand. The Introduction Activity sets the stage. The teacher needs to get the student's attention and let the learner know the objective of the lesson and why it is important. This may take many forms including teacher introduction, reading a story, watching a film or a video, or introduction of a guest. The Student Activity section varies from art activities, playing games, taking part in simulations, exposure to aids and appliances, and paper and pencil exercises. Class discussions may be meeting and talking with guests with disabilities or persons working with individuals who are disabled. Class discussions may also be question and answer sessions or just a time for talking about one's own feelings, experiences, and ideas. A Follow-up Activity is used to reinforce what has been learned and to close the lesson. It may be a story, an art activity, a film or video, or simply a closing statement summing up the main points of the lesson. The lesson plans are only meant to be used as a guide. Each lesson contains far more activities than are necessary so teachers can easily adapt the lessons to fit their own needs and student level. All suggested books, films, videos, aids, and appliances should be booked prior to beginning to teach this unit and can be substituted with each other when need be.

The teaching modules are: an overview of differences, visual impairments, hearing impairments, physical impairments, mental handicaps, other disabilities and wrap up session. Each module contains several lesson plans to teach. Each module can be taught within a week and can be incorporated into the "Personal and social Values and Skills" component of the Common Essential Learnings.


Table of Contents


Teaching Module 1: Overview of Differences

Lesson 1

Objective

To understand that people are both alike and different

Teacher Preparation

Book - "Leo the Lop" or "Keith Edward's Different Day"

Introduction Activity

Tell the students to look around the class and decide how everyone is alike and how everyone is different take about 2 minutes. Brainstorm ideas. On one piece of chart paper print ideas that the students give about being the same, on another piece of chart paper print ideas that the students give about everyone being different. Read the ideas back to the students. Reinforce the idea that we are all alike in some ways but in other ways we are different.

Student Activity

On 8 " x 11" drawing paper have the students draw a self portrait from the shoulders up. Remind the students to colour their hair, eyes, mouth, etc. as accurately as possible as they will be used for a guessing game. Pass the mirror down the rows so students can have a good look at themselves. Remind students not to put their names on the pictures. While the students are working on their self portraits go up and down the rows with ink pad and paper and take a thumb print of each student. Label each as you go.

Guide For Class Discussion

Read the story "Leo the Lop" or "Keith Edward's Different Day" to the students. Use the guided questions at the back of "Keith Edward's Different Day" for discussion. If "Leo the Lop" is read ask questions to students such as:

  1. How are the bunnies the same?
  2. How is Leo different from the other bunnies?
  3. What did the bunnies begin to do?
  4. How did Leo feel?
  5. What did he try to do?
  6. What did the bunnies try to do after Leo told them they were not normal?
  7. What did Leo and the bunnies decide in the end?
  8. What did they all decide normal is?
  9. Do you agree with them?
Follow-up Activity

Reinforce the idea that everyone is alike in some ways and different in other ways. Tell students their pictures will be on the bulletin board tomorrow. They are to look at the pictures and decide who it is. They can record their guesses on the lined paper underneath each picture. Check this next lesson.


Lesson 2

Objective

To encourage acceptance of differences between individuals

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Form a group at the bulletin board display of the self portraits. Check student pictures from Lesson 1 to see if students were able to identify each other. Review the brainstormed ideas about how we are different from each other and how we are the same.

Student Activity

Have students go back to desks. On chalk board have a large sheet of Bristol Board fastened. Have a graph drawn similar to this.

Graph Unavailable For Internet Access

Graph the students according to each category. Students will likely want to add categories of their own. Point out to the students that we are both alike and different in many ways.

Guide For Class Discussion

Show one of the suggested films or video. Some have discussion guides to follow. Each one has the potential to lead into a discussion of how each character has a special talent for something. The films or video are all focused on an appreciation of differences.

Follow-up Activity

Play the game "Twenty Questions". Focus on one student. Let the students ask questions and guess who you are thinking of. Allow 20 chances. Keep track on blackboard. Let a few students have a chance to be "it" or to record the guesses and questions.


Lesson 3

Objective

To increase awareness of the positive attributes and contributions that exist in everyone.

Teacher Preparation

Introduction

Tell the students what plans are for the next lessons. Be specific. Ask the students to collect newspaper or magazine articles about exceptional individuals or groups and to bring to school ta share. Direct students to book display. Tell the students the hooks in the hook display are to be used in their spare time and silent reading times.

Student Activity

Allow the students five to ten minutes for browsing. Ask students to bring any books from home that would be appropriate for use in the center.

Guide For Class Discussion

Show one of the films. Any one of the films lends itself to a discussion about handicapped children and what they are doing or handicapped children and what they want to be when they grow up. The films point out that handicapped children have the same interests and desires as other children have.

Follow-up Activity

Begin to read either of the books about Helen Keller to the student. Both books can be broken into small sections to be read at various times during the teaching of this unit.


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Teaching Module 2: Visual Impairment

Lesson 1

Objective

To introduce children to visual disabilities

Teacher Preparation

Definitions

From: CNIB (The Canadian National Institute for the Blind)

Braille: is a tactile system of raised dots representing letters of the alphabet. To read braille, the fingers gently glide over paper which has been embossed with the braille code. For note taking, a pointed instrument is used to punch out the dots on paper held in a metal slate. The readable raised dots appear on the other side of the paper.

Guide Dog: is not a pet, but a highly trained animal whose chief responsibility is to guide a blind person from place to place safely and independently.

Legal Blindness: does not necessarily mean a total absence of sight. In fact, only about 104 of CNIB'S clients are totally blind. The range of vision can vary between being able to perceive the difference between light and dark to being able to read large print with a magnifier. A person is generally considered to be "legally blind" when an object can be seen at 20 feet that a person with regular vision can see at 200 feet.

Low Vision: Reduced visual function resulting from a disorder of the visual system.

Low vision Aid: Any device, optical or nonoptical, which enables a person with low vision to improve visual performance.

Examples:

  1. Hand held magnifiers
  2. Bar magnifiers (for a single line of print)
  3. Closed circuit TV readers (may magnify up to 45 X)
  4. Magnifiers with a light attachment
  5. Binoculars/monoculars
Mobility: is the term used to describe the ability of blind and visually impaired people to travel safety, efficiently and independently.

Visual impairment: refers to any loss or abnormality of physiological or anatomical structure or function.

Visual disability: refers to any restriction or lack of ability to perform within the range considered normal.

Introduction Activity

Explain to the students that the class will be learning about what it means to be blind. Ask the students if anyone knows what blind means. Explain to the students that there are varying degrees of blindness ranging from slight limitations to no vision at all. Ask the students to tell what it might be like or how they would feel if they were unable to see. Write ideas on chart paper. Read the ideas back to the students.

Student Activity

Explain the role of a sighted guide. The blind person holds the arm of the guide. The guide walks slightly ahead of the blind person. The guide explains what is coming ahead and explains or aids the blind person in helping him or herself. The guide never leaves the blind person. Divide the students into pairs. Blindfold one partner and have the other partner be the guide. Give each guide a card with the following instructions printed on it. If the students can't read make sure they understand the three things they are to do. Have one-third of the cards start at #l, one-third at #2, and one-third at #3, so that the students are not doing the same thing at the same time. Once a group has finished have them change roles so each child experiences the "blind" feeling.

Guide For Class Discussion

After the simulation activity is complete discuss with the students how they felt nat being able to see. Ask if the guide was a help and how they felt about being a guide. Ask what some of the problems were that they encountered. Ask how they could help someone who is blind.

Follow-up Activity

Read the book "Sally Can't See" or continue reading one of the Helen Keller books.


Lesson 2

Objective

To develop an understanding of how visually impaired individuals use their other senses to help themselves.

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Review the simulation activity from the last lesson. Ask the students what senses they used to help move around. Explain that today the students will pretend to be blind and have to use all their senses to help them.

Student Activity

Have the students sit in a circle. Pass the bag that is full of assorted objects to one of the students. The student is to reach in and feel one of the objects and guess what it is. The student pulls the object out to see if his or her guess was correct. Keep passing the bag around the circle until all students have had a turn. Have the Students return to their desks. Instruct them to close their eyes. Give each Student a food item to taste. Have them guess what the food was. Have the students close their eyes. Walk by each student and allow them to smell the food items. Have them guess what they are smelling. Have the students close their eyes and put their heads on their desks. Make various sounds (i.e. clap hands, Write on the chalkboard, snap fingers, stamp feet, shut book, open and shut door, etc.). Have the students identify what you are doing.

Guide For Class Discussion

Ask the students to identify what senses they used in each activity. Lead the students to an understanding of how important the senses are to visually impaired individuals.

Follow-up Activity

Show the film "Sound of Sunshine, Sound of Rain". There is an excellent discussion guide with this film. If not available choose another film from the visually impaired section or a book to read.


Lesson 3

Objective

To become familiar with aids and devices that visually impaired individuals use to help themselves

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Depending on the arrangements made for this class the Introduction Activity will vary from introduction of guests to going on a tour. If the lesson is the introduction of aids and devices for use by a visually impaired individual the teacher will have to introduce and explain how the aids and devices are used.

Student Activity

Allow the students to touch and experiment with the aids and devices. Make a list of the aids and devices on chart paper. Review with students.

Class Discussion

If a speaker is visiting the class or the class tours the CNIB facility the students need to be given time to ask questions.

Follow-up Activity

Write thank you letter on chart paper to class visitor or to the CNIB facility for the tour. Have all students sign the letter. Mail.

Read "Cannie's New Eyes" or "Jenny's Magic Wand" if a guest or tour was not available.


Lesson 4

Objective

To introduce students to an alternative communication system, Braille

Teacher's Preparation

Introduction Activity

Have the students sit in a circle. Hand out the pamphlet "The Six Magic Dots of Braille". Read the history of Braille from the pamphlet. Show books and materials that have been written in Braille to the students. Allow the students to examine and feel the materials.

Student Activity

Have students return to desks. Give each student a copy of the Braille Alphabet Worksheet and the Braille Activity Worksheet. Allow students time to complete the work. Some students will need individual help to get started.

Follow-up Activity

Show film "See What I feel" or read "Fingers That See". Do crossword puzzle "I Spy".

Braille Alphabet Chart Not Available with Internet Access


Lesson 5

Objective

To develop an understanding of what to do to help a blind person.

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Show the film "What Do You Do When You Meet a Blind Person".

Guide for Class Disscussion

Have students brainstorm ideas from the film and their own experiences on how they could help a blind person. Record on the chart paper.

Follow-up Activity

Draw a poster depicting how the student could help a blind person. Label the posters for the students and display in hallway.


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Teaching Module 3: Hearing Impairment

Lesson 1

Objective

To introduce children to hearing disabilities

Teacher Preparation

Definitions

From: Cartwright, G., Cartwright, C., & Ward, M. (1981).

Education Special Learners. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Co.

Deaf: A hearing impairment which is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, which adversely affects educational performance.

Deaf-Blind: Concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for deaf or blind children.

Hard of Hearing: A hearing impairment, whether permanent or fluctuating, which adversely affects a child's educational performance but which is not included under the definition of "deaf" in this section.

Introduction Activity

Tell the students that we will watch a film called "Deaf Like Me". Begin the film with the sound turned off. Watch for two or three minutes. Stop the film Ask the students questions about the film. Write answers on the board. Turn the film on again. This time turn the sound on but only enough so that it is still very difficult to hear. Stop after two to three minutes. Again ask the students questions about the film and write their answer on the board. Rewind the film and show it again, with the sound at normal volume.

Guide for Class Discussion

Ask the students how they felt watching the film and not being able to understand what the people were saying. Look at the answers on the board and discuss whether they answered the questions correctly. Ask the students how they arrived at their answers. There is also a discussion guide that goes along with the film that may be used.

Student Activity

Have the students sit in a circle. Play the game "Telephone" where one person begins by whispering a short message (provided by the teacher) into their neighbour's ear and then that individual whispers what they heard to their neighbour and so on until the message has gone all around the circle. The last person to hear the message repeats it. Compare this message with the message that was started with. Play the game one or two more times.

Follow-up Activity

Read the story "Lisa and Her Soundless World" or "I Have a Sister My Sister is Deaf".


Lesson 2

Objective

To experience how someone who is hard of hearing might hear and to become familiar with aids and devices that hearing impaired individuals use to help them hear better

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Depending on arrangements made for this class this activity will vary. If a guest is able to come, introduce the guest. Otherwise have students cover their ears with their hands. Turn your back to them and clap so many times. Have the students try ta tell you how many times you clapped. Repeat hy snapping fingers, tapping pencil on the blackboard, and stamping. Tell students you are going to give them directions to do various things but that there will he very loud music in the background so that they will have to listen very carefully. Turn up music very loud, speak softly giving the students directions such as stand up, stamp your feet, close your eyes, clap your hands, etc. Do this for a very short time.

Guide tor Class Discussion

Discuss with the students how they felt trying to follow the directions with the loud music on. Ask them what kinds of things they tried so they could hear better. Explain to the students there are devices available to help individuals hear better. Read the story "A Button in Her Ear".

Student Activity

Show the students the various types of hearing aids. Demonstrate how they work and explain that they must be handled very carefully. It would be a valuable experience if the students could actually try them to hear how the sound is amplified.

Follow-up Activity

Explain to the students about other devices hearing impaired individuals use; closed caption decoders for use on televisions, telephone amplifiers, signalling devices such as alarm clocks and doorbells that use flashing lights to signal the person. Have the students complete the Hearing Worksheet. The students can either draw the answers or print the answers.

Hearing Worksheet


Lesson 3

Objective

To introduce students to alternate communication methods that hearing impaired individuals use

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Ask students to look at you and see if they can tell you what you are saying. Mouth short phrases such as "Hello", "How are you", "Sit still". Ask the students to tell how they understood what you said. Tell the students you are now giving them a short spelling test. Distribute paper. Have students number the paper from 1 to 5. Dictate the following list of words by only mouthing the words. Tell the students to watch your lips.

Spelling list:

  1. cat
  2. cup
  3. dog
  4. duck
  5. baby
Guide for Class Discussion

Review the test words. See how many words the students were able to understand. Discuss the difficulties they had understanding what you were saying. Tell the students that it is difficult to learn to read lips and not all individuals benefit from hearing aids. Ask the students if they can think of another method that may help a hearing impaired individual. Lead the discussion to sign language.

Student Activity

If a guest is available, introduce and let him/her do this part. Otherwise give the students the Manual Alphabet Worksheet. Allow a couple of minutes for the students to look at the worksheet. Together with the students, slowly finger spell the alphabet. Stand at the front of the room and tell them you are going to finger spell words to them. Only do a few easy words such as hi, zoo, no. Some students may want to volunteer to spell a word to the other Students. Spend a few minutes doing this.

Follow-up Activity

Explain that there are other types of sign languages that don't spell out each word. Do the Worksheet. Read the book "What is the Sign for Friend".


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Teaching Module 4: Physical Impairments

Lesson 1

Objective

To introduce students to various types of physical impairments

Teacher Preparation

Definitions

From: Konczal, D., & Pesetski, L. (1983). We All Come in

Different Packages. Santa Barbara: The Learning Works, Inc.

Physical Handicaps: Disabilities that prevent or inhibit physical activity, including visual impairment, orthopedic handicaps, and disorders of body function.

Introduction Activity

Tell the students that they will be doing some activities today that may he difficult to do and they should just try and do their best.

Student Activity

Have students sit in a circle. Give each student a pair of mittens or socks to put on their hands. Place two coins on the floor in front of each student. Have the students take turns picking up their coins and putting them in the jars. Have the students go back to their desk and get out their crayons. Hand out drawing paper. Have the students draw a sketch of themselves using the opposite hand to which they normally use. Give the students the bean bags. Have the students put them on top of their feet. Have them walk around the room without having the bean bags fall off their feet. Direct the students to untie their shoes and then tie them back up with one hand or have them unbutton a shirt button and do it up again using only one hand.

Guide for Class Discussion

After these simulations have the students discuss how they felt doing the activities. Ask them what different kinds of things they had to do to accomplish the tasks. Ask the students if they had to assume very different positions to do the tasks. Have some of the students demonstrate. Lead the students to an understanding that individuals with physical handicaps often have difficulty moving around, performing simple tasks, and participating in certain activities.

Follow-up Activity

Show the film "I Can Do It Myself!" There is a discussion guide with the film that may he used.


Lesson 2

Objective

To introduce students to appliances and devices that individuals with physical impairments (mobility disability) may use

Teacher Preparation

Definitions

From: Cartwright, G., Cartwright, C., & Ward, M. (1981). Educating Special Learners. Belmont: Wandsworth.

Orthopedically Impaired: A severe orthopedic impairment which adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns which cause contractures).

Introduction Activity

If a speaker is available introduce and this will be the complete lesson. If the speaker is not available read the story "Move over Wheelchairs Coming Through".

Guide for Class Discussion

Ask the students how an individual with a physical impairment is able to move around. List the ways the students mention on the blackboard. Show the students the appliances that have been borrowed and explain them.

Student Activity

Give the students enough time to examine the appliances. Have the students brainstorm ideas about what kinds of situations are difficult for physically impaired persons to negotiate (i.e. stairs, curbs, narrow doorways).

Follow-up Activity

Set up an obstacle course in the gym or outside and have the students go through it using the borrowed appliances.


Lesson 3

Objective

To learn about certain conditions that can cause physical handicaps - Cerebral Palsy.

Teacher Preparation

Definitions

From: Saskatchewan Cerebral Palsy Association

Cerebral Palsy (CP): refers to a group of life-long, non-progressive physical disabilities. These result from damage to the developing brain during pregnancy, birth or early infancy. CP is not a disease. It is not contagious and it doesn't get worse. The damage to the brain interferes with the messages between the brain and other parts of the body. The result may be a lack of control over movement and posture, impaired speech, sight and/or hearing. In some eases CP affects learning abilities. Disabilities resulting from CP can range from very mild and barely noticeable to severe and multiple. No two people with CP are the same because the location and degree of brain damage is different in every case.

Introduction Activity

Introduce the guest speaker. The lesson will develop from here. Otherwise begin by reading one of the books.

Student Activity

Explain that some individuals with Cerebral Palsy are not only affected in the muscles of their arms and legs hut also in the muscles of their faces. Tall the students you are going to ask them questions and that when they answer they are not to move their lips or tongues. Next have one or two students volunteer to be spun around a couple of times with his/her eyes closed. Then request them to walk a straight line following the taped line on the floor Finally distribute a small piece of paper to each student. Have the students grip a pencil in their mouth and try ta print their name on the piece of paper. They are not to hold the paper still with their hands.

Guide for Class Discussion

Ask the students how they felt during the various activities. Ask what they did that helped them do their activity. Ask how they would feel if people made fun of them because of the way they talked or moved. Make sure that the students understand that Cerebral Palsy can affect an individual's muscles in any or all parts of the body.

Follow-up Activity

Take the students outside or to the gym. Divide the students into three or four teams and have relay races. One time have the students race to the finish line by hopping with their feet together and holding one hand on top of their head. Another time have the students race with their hands grasped behind their backs and a bean bag on their head. Finally have the students just have an ordinary race. Have the students discuss how difficult and frustrating it is to move when they are restricted in some way.


Lesson 4

Objective

To introduce students to alternate communication systems that the physically handicapped may use

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Introduce the guest and this will be the lesson. Otherwise review with the students the alternate forms of communication taken so far: Braille, Finger Spelling, and Sign Language. Explain to the students that some people can't speak because they can't move the muscles around their mouths. Some of these same individuals also have difficulty controlling the muscles of their hands, arms, and fingers so are not able ta Finger Spell or use other forms of Sign Language. Show the students a real Communication Board or the one you have made on Bristol board. Explain that the person paints to each letter with his or her hand and spells the word. If the person is unable to control his or her hands then he or she may use a pointer attached to his or her head to point to the letters. Distribute the Blissymbolic Worksheet and explain that this is another type of communication board. Discuss the symbols and complete the bottom section.

Student Activity

Give each student a copy of the Communication Board Grid. Ask them to draw symbols in each square that they feel would be important to include. After the students are finished let the students explain why they choose one of the symbols on their board and why it would be important to have it. Display the Communication Boards on a bulletin board.

Bliss Symbols Chart Not Available With Internet Access


Lesson 5

Objective

To become aware of what kinds of things a person can do to help a physically disabled person

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Ask students to brainstorm ideas about ways they could help a physically handicapped individual. Write the ideas on chart paper.

Guide for Class Discussion

Ask how the school could make itself more accessible (ex. stairs-ramps, curbs-cut, wider halls doors, lower blackboards, coat hooks, water fountains, etc.). Discuss the importance of having Handicapped Reserved Parking Spaces and what happens when others start to use them.

Follow-up Activity

Distribute the Wheelchair Etiquette Sheet and read together. Tell the students to look on their way home to see what obstacles are around the school and streets that could possibly be changed to accommodate physically handicapped individuals.


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Teaching Module 5: Mental Handicaps

Lesson 1

Objective

To understand what a mental handicap is

Teacher Preparation

Definitions

From: Cartwright, G., Cartwright, C , & Ward, M. (1981). Educating Special Learners.

Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Co.

Mentally Handicapped: Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behaviour and manifested during the developmental period, which adversely affects a child's educational performance.

Multihandicapped: Concomitant impairments (such as mentally retarded-blind, mentally retarded-orthopedically impaired, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education program solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blind children.

Introduction Activity

Review with the students that each one of us is different from the other in many ways. Explain that some people are different in the way they learn. Read the story "My Brother Steven is Retarded" to the class.

Guide for Class Discussion

Begin by discussing the book just read. Ask questions about Steven and what he is able to do rather than what he can't do. Ask how the sister feels about Steven. Explain to the students that even though a person may not learn the same way they do, that the person will still learn. The person may take longer and have more difficulty, nevertheless, they will still learn things.

Student Activity

Instruct the students to listen carefully and after you are finished they are to do what you told them. Read a list of instructions very quickly.

  1. Stand up
  2. Snap your fingers
  3. Stamp your feet
  4. Clap 3 times
  5. Hop 2 times
  6. Close your eyes
Then tell the students to do what they were told. Ask them how they felt and if it was difficult to do. Explain to the students that for some mentally handicapped people following more than one direction at a time is very difficult to do.

Follow-up Activity

Have the students sit in a circle. Play the game "Going on a Trip" where the first person starts off by saying "I'm going on a trip and I'm taking my toothbrush." The next person says "I'm going on a trip and I'm taking my toothbrush and Continue around the circle with each student adding something else until everyone has had a turn. Ask them if it is difficult to remember so many things. Tell them that some people face that difficulty all the time and that might be the only way they are different from them, Reinforce with the students that the mentally handicapped person will learn.


Lesson 2

Objective

To understand some of the difficulties an individual with a mental handicap may have.

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Begin the lesson by telling the students that they are going to listen to a song sung in another language. Turn on the record and listen to one song.

Guide for Class Discussion

Ask the students:

Student Activity

Pair the students. Give each pair a mirror and a piece of drawing paper. Have one student prop up the mirror behind the paper and the other student draws or prints on the paper by looking in the mirror. Suggestions include printing their name, drawing a triangle, printing an adding number sentence. Have students change positions. Ask the students if they felt confused trying to do the activity and if they needed extra time to do these simple tasks. Make sure the students understand that it just takes a mentally handicapped person longer to do something not that they can't do it.

Follow-up Activity

Read one of the suggested books to the class.


Lesson 3

Objective

To develop an understanding that handicapped people also live and work in the community just as they do

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

The best way for the students to learn that mentally handicapped persons do hold jobs and live in the community is to arrange the tour. If that is not possible invite a speaker to the class.

Guide for Class Discussion

Tell the students to be sure to ask Questions during either of these activities.

Follow-up Activity

If the students went on the tour have them write about what they sav, the jobs people were doing, and their feelings about the trip. If the children are too young to do this write a Language Experience story together on chart paper. Write a thank you letter to the speaker or to the person who led the tour and have all students sign it. Mail.


Lesson 4

Objective

To understand what they can do to help a mentally handicapped person

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Ask the students to brainstorm ideas about how they Would like to be treated if they were mentally handicapped. Write their ideas on chart paper.

Class Discussion

Discuss the student's ideas including some of your own. Try to lead students to an understanding that they should: include the students in games and activities, speak clearly and repeat if necessary, be helpful - don't laugh or tease the person, and most of all be a friend.

Student Activity

Have students suggest games. Write the games on the blackboard and ask for ideas on how to modify the games so a mentally handicapped student could play. Go outside or to the gym and Play dodgeball. Tell the students you are changing the rules so that anyone would be able to play. The students are divided into two groups, one group forms a circle and the other group goes inside. The different rules are that if you are hit you join the outside circle and get to throw the ball first to resume the game. Continue this way


Lesson 5

Objective

To develop an awareness that mentally handicapped people take time to play and participate in sports just as they do

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

Introduce the speaker and the lesson will follow from here. If you are unable to arrange for the speaker, discuss with the students that mentally handicapped people not only work but play as well and have their own "Special Olympics".

Student Activity

Watch the video "Dare to Dream". Discuss how Similar the Special Olympics are to the Olympics.

Follow-up Activity

Write a thank you letter to the speaker and have all the students sign it. Mail. The students could draw their favourite sport they saw in the Special Olympics video. Display on bulletin board.


Table of Contents


Teaching Module 6: Other Disabilities

Lesson 1

Objective

To learn about certain other disabilities: Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder

Teacher Preparation

Definitions

From: Epilepsy Foundation of America

Epilepsy: is a neurological disorder which briefly interrupts the usual function of the brain. The disruptions produce seizures.

Epileptic Seizure: changes in consciousness, involuntary movements, muscle spasms and, sometimes, convulsions. They are usually over in a few seconds or a few minutes. The very processes causing the seizure trigger other brain mechanisms to end it.

Introduction Activity

Introduce the guest speaker and the lesson will develop from here. Otherwise begin by having the students sit in a circle and distribute the booklets "Because You Are My Friend" so that students can follow along as you read. Read the booklet. The students Should have an understanding of Epilepsy after the story. Show the film "Let's Talk It Over (A child with Epilepsy)".

Guide for Class Discussion

Ask the students:

Follow-up Activity

Read the section on First Aid from the pamphlet "A Child's Guide to Seizure Disorders". Ask the students to tell what they should do if another student has a falling down seizure. Write on chart paper.

Example:

  1. Keep calm
  2. Tell a grown-up if possible
  3. Move things out of the way
  4. Be a friend when it's over

Lesson 2

Objective

To learn about other disabilities Teacher Preparation

If the teacher wishes to explore further some other disabilities, the following organizations have materials available for teachers to borrow and some will supply speakers on request.

Autism

Saskatoon Society for Autism, 202 - 310 Idylwyld Drive N., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7L OZ2, 665-7013

Autism Resource Center, 2241 Wallace, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4N 4A8, 569-0858

Cancer

Canadian Cancer Society,#201 - 2445 13th Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P OW1, 757-4260

Contact Education Co-ordinator Peggy Schellenberg

or contact local Canadian, Cancer Society Office, Canadian Cancer Society,1036 College Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N OW1, 244-4389

Contact Jacqueline Calvert

Diabetes

Diabetes Association, 309 - 219 22nd St. E., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K OG4, 653-1565

Diabetes Association, 4420 Albert Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, S7K 0G4, 584-8445

Learning Disabilities

Saskatchewan Education, Special Education Branch, 2220 College Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 3V7, 787-6053

Learning Disabilities of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon Chapter, 610 Clarence Avenue South, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 57H 2E2, 652-4114

or contact local Regional Office of Saskatchewan Education

Respiratory Disease Saskatchewan Lung

Association 1231 8th Street East, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7H 0S5, 343-9511

Spina Bifida

Film "I'll Find a Way", Available: Saskatoon Public Library or Media House, Productions, Inc.

Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada, 633 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M OA8, 452-7580

Definitions

From: Saskatoon Society for Autism

Autism: is a severe, life-long developmental disability, which usually becomes evident during the first 3 years of life. It occurs in approximately 5 out of 10,000 births, and is four times more common in boys than in girls. It is characterized by severe communication problems, difficulty understanding and developing social relationships, unusual and repetitive behaviours, and unusual sensory responses. Autism is a brain disorder, the cause of which is still unknown. While there is no known cure, people with autism can improve significantly given proper training.

From: Cartwright, G., Cartwright, C., & Ward, M. (1981). Educating Special Learners. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Co.

Specific Learning Disability: A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include children who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

From: The Easter Seal Society

Spina Bifida: is a congenital abnormality in which the spinal column fails to close over in order to protect the spinal cord, resulting in damage to the spinal cord nerves. It may be complicated by the protrusion of the spinal cord through the bony cleft resulting in nerve damage. There may be complete or partial paralysis of the lower limbs and loss of sensation. Loss of bowel and bladder control may be associated with this condition. If there is interference with circulation of the spinal fluid, the child's head may enlarge (hydrocephalus).


Table of Contents


Teaching Module 7: Wrap-up Session

Lesson 1

Objective

To review and reinforce the concept of accepting and understanding exceptional children.

Teacher Preparation

Introduction Activity

This should be a recap of the lessons: Overview of Differences, visual Impairment, Hearing Impairments, Physical Impairments, and Mental Impairments.

Guide for Class Discussion

Ask students:

  1. What are some of the disabilities we learned about?
  2. How can I help someone with various disabilities?
  3. What kinds of things can my school and my community do to provide better access for handicapped individuals?
  4. What do I feel about someone with a handicap?
Students should be allowed to talk about their feelings and experiences.

Student Activity

Have students write or draw about one thing that they have learned during this unit. If the students draw, then print a statement on the bottom indicating what they say their picture is telling about.

Follow-up Activity

Display student's work on bulletin board and give students time to look at each other's work.

A "Kids on the Block" presentation would he an excellent way to finish this unit.

Back to: Students - Diverse Needs