GRADE 4 - 6
INDEPENDENT LIVING AIDS ACTIVITY / PROJECT
In this activity, students will research and present on independent living aids for people with disabilities and then take a short quiz to test their knowledge. The aids can be service animals, augmentative communication, wheelchairs, canes, etc.
1- Be able to identify 3-5 aids that people with disabilities use.
2- Be able to explain how the aids are used and how they work.
Students will individually choose a living aid to research.
Through research, ensure that students are able to explain thoroughly what the aid is, the inventor, how the aid came to be used by disabled people, and how it adds value and support to disabled people.
Students will create a poster presentation on their chosen aid and while listening to other presentations are expected to take notes to assist them with the quiz.
Provide students with a short quiz about 3-5 aids.
POSITIVE & NEGATIVE WORD ACTIVITY
In this activity, students with the help of their teacher, will write down the positive or negative word in the blank space (the positive and negative word will alternate being blank on the worksheet). The impact and feeling of positive and negative words will be discussed.
1- Learn how to use positive words when describing not only people with disabilities but their peers.
2- Learn the impact that negative words have.
3- Learn that one has a choice to use their words to spread love and support.
Hand out the worksheet. Before starting to collaborate, brainstorm the opposite word, and explain the impact of both positive and negative words.
After their worksheets are filled out in a format similar to the one below, discuss how the positive and negative words make students feel.
PEOPLE FIRST LANGUAGE ACTIVITY
In this activity, students will collaborate with their peers and teacher to brainstorm what the “people first language” version of a basic sentence is.
1- Identify what “person first language” is and what isn’t.
2- Learn how to gently correct themselves and others.
3- Encourage being mindful when describing a disabled person.
Handout worksheet that only displays the sentences under “What is the person first language version of this?” and collaborate on the answers. You could also do a matching quiz to match the correct sentence.
After completing the worksheet, discuss why it’s important to use “Person first language.” The discussion will likely be similar to the “Positive and Negative Word Activity".
What is the Person First Language Version of This Sentence?
He’s mentally retarded
Jack is crippled
Nina is confined to her wheelchair
Martin is mentally ill/disturbed
Hailey is brain damaged
He/She/They have a problem with…/ has special needs
Normal / Healthy Kids/ Children
Answers: Person First Language Version
People with disabilities
He has a cognitive disability
She has autism
Jack has a physical disability
Nina uses a wheelchair
Martin has a mental health condition
Hailey has a brain injury
Children without disabilities
HEARING IMPAIRMENT SIMULATION ACTIVITY
In this activity, students will be in pairs and wear noise cancelling headphones. They will take turns reading the lips of their partner, saying simple statements/sentences. This is a hearing impairment simulation.
*After the simulation exercise, have each pair answer what they learned about this activity. Remind them to speak in person-first language and also to draw helpful and positive conclusions.
1- Learn ways to communicate with someone who has a hearing impairment.
2- Understand the levels of hearing impairment (low, medium, high).
3- Learn valuable ways to approach someone with a hearing impairment.
Have students pair up. Give one of the students noise cancelling headphones, and the other the list of the sentences.
Explain the following rules to the groups: the partner that is reading the sentences should speak slowly, and the partner with the headphones should be able to see the other student's lips and face clearly at all times. The sentence list should be kept hidden from the other partner. The partner with the headphones only has 2 attempts to guess before moving. Each group is responsible for keeping track of the sentences that are guessed correctly.
After the partners have done one side of the role, have them switch and repeat!
After the activity, discuss the level of difficulty, and ways to proactively engage and communicate with someone that has a hearing impairment.
- My friend says hello
- My cat is orange
- I love chocolate cake
- The library is open
- It is cold outside
- I love orange juice
- My house is blue
- Do you like the piano?
CELEBRITY/ FAMOUS DISABILITY AWARENESS ACTIVITY
In this activity, students will be shown photos of famous individuals that have disabilities and they will be asked to guess what they all have in common. There will be a conversation about disability and success, and a collaborative discussion.
1- Learn that not all disabilities are visible.
2- Be encouraged to normalize being disabled and successful.
Show the photos of the famous people/ celebrities attached below. Ask the students to guess what they all have in common. If they don’t guess, explain that they all have disabilities.
After revealing that all of the people in the images have disabilities, ask the following questions:
o Did it surprise you that these famous people have a disability?
o Did this make you think differently about what it means to have a disability?
Have every student write down their answers and share them with the class discussion.
After discussing the questions, collaborate with students about how these celebrities may have been supported on their journey.
Independent Living Aids Activity / Project: Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge. Boy Scouts of America. (2023, February 6). Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.scouting.org/merit-badges/disabilities-awareness/
Positive & Negative Word Activity: Adapted from Cook, S., Duggal, G., & Gibo, M. (2008). DISABILITY 101: Increasing Disability Awareness and Sensitivity. Honolulu; University of Hawaii.
People First Language Activity: Adapted From People First Language. Disability is Natural. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.disabilityisnatural.com/people-first-language.html
Hearing Impairment Simulation Activity: Adapted from Adcock, B., & Remus, M. L. (2006). Disability Awareness Activity Packet. Possibilities INC.
Celebrity / Famous Disability Awareness Activity: Adapted from Adcock , B., & Remus, M. L. (2006). Disability Awareness Activity Packet . Possibilities INC.