April 24th, 2012
Today my lesson was about what happens when bones and muscles don’t work. I was really excited when planning this lesson because I wanted to integrate social studies standards about accepting others. I felt that this was a topic that could possibly open students’ eyes and change their perspectives about people with disabilities.
The students completed a set of tasks using all of their fingers and then completed the same tasks without using their thumb. Granted this in no way shows the complexity of what it is like to have a physical disability, but it can at least allow students to understand how their life might be altered. The students worked very well on this assignment. I was proud of a lot of my students because they worked very well in their groups. At the end of the lesson we talked about the difficulty level of the tasks. Some of the tasks were: holding a pencil, writing their name, picking up a piece of paper, holding a cup, etc. Students said they had the most difficulty with writing their name. We discussed how their life might be different if they had a physical disability, such as not having all of their fingers.
The key point I wanted my students to take from this lesson is that people with disabilities are able to do a lot of things! I wanted to rid my students of their misconceptions that people with physical limitations are helpless. Instead we talked about how we have to be imaginative and creative to come up with solutions or different ways to do things. (Ex: Using a cup with a handle, using a pencil with a better grip, etc). At the end of the lesson my students were able to realize that yes some of the tasks were more difficult than others, but they were still able to complete all of the tasks.
I wish I could have added in more examples of how people overcome their disabilities. I could have had examples of different sports starts and how they overcome their challenges. 🙂
A good day,
Ms. Schmidt 🙂