Lesson Facilitation Outline
Canisha De Silva, Bre Olds, and Catherine Tuggle
We feel that when it comes to teachers instructing students with physical disabilities, the key to success is perspective. This is why we are going to give our peers an opportunity to not only see, but feel the challenges faced by physically disabled students in the academic setting. We will do this through the sharing of information as well as the simulation of some common physical disabilities seen in a SpEd classroom.
After a short introduction we will split the class into three groups by having each student draw a number, one through three, from a bowl. Once teams are determined the students will go to their designated station. There they will receive an informative handout from which they will learn a bit about a physical disability. After this sharing of information the station instructor will provide the supplies and instructions needed in order to simulate the physical disability. Once prepared, students will complete a simple activity as if they had the disability.
In one station, students will learn about common types of visual impairment. Then they will complete a written activity such as a maze or coloring sheet while their vision is impaired with the use of tools such as blind folds and costume glasses coated in petroleum jelly.
In the next station, students will learn about the challenges faced by those with muscular dystrophy. We will simulate the muscle weakness and lack of coordination by having students spin to cause disorientation, then place their dominant hand behind their back and use their weaker hand, wearing an oven mitt, to sort small colored objects into coordinating containers as well as other sorting activities performed in a typical SpEd classroom to exercise fine motor skills.
In the final station, students will learn about Rhett Syndrome. Then, with rulers strapped to their forearms to disable the elbow joint, they will complete a word search. This will give some insight to one of the many challenges that someone with this disability endures.
Station instructors will observe students and encourage full participation while answering any questions that may arise. When the three groups have completed all three activities, we will rejoin as a class for a more in depth, instructor led discussion. In this discussion we hope to spread awareness of these and other physical disabilities, inspire educator creativity, and drive home the importance of perspective and consideration in the classroom.
What makes this learning experience unique?
Our facilitation gives students and future teachers the opportunity to put themselves, temporarily, in the place of their students. By simulating the physical disabilities, they will have a small glimpse into the challenges faced by these children and their families. When asked how these challenges would affect their everyday life, students will have to ponder these simulations if they were applied to their reality. This will further their experience. Providing this perspective will make our lesson unique and effective.