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Saturday, September 29, 2012

People With Disabilities; Feelings 10

People With Disabilities
Even open minded people can have biases against people with disabilities without realizing it.  A role play game is a good way to observe what may happen with interactions of an able person and a disabled person.  

(Children act out scenarios)
1. A child helps another child in a wheelchair with math.  (In this scenario there is no difference in helping this child, as a child sitting in a regular chair).  See what happens, sometimes people will oversimplify language for people in wheelchairs.  View if this does or does not happen and discuss it.

2. A child is helping another child who is deaf and reads lips, with math.  (In this scenario the child may need to speak slower and make sure their mouth is visible to the hearing impaired child).  See what happens and discuss it.

Simulation Game
1. Post several similar address around a room without having the correct address listed.  Have the children look for the address seeing it as if someone was dyslexic.  The address is 8732, but the children see it as 3278.  After the address search, discuss that some people see numbers differently, and talk about the challenges it causes.
2. Have children put on a blindfold to simulate blindness, or run their fingers across braille to understand how those who are sight impaired read.
3. Have children put on noise canceling headphones to simulate deafness.
4. Have children use a pair of crutches and try to navigate opening doors, getting an object and carrying it.
5. Have children navigate a hallway in a wheelchair, or try to play basketball.

Can someone with a learning disability go to college
Most people with learning disabilities are very intelligent and can go to college.  The reason children go for resource support, etc., is because they learn differently than most of the children in their classrooms.

Can someone who cannot hear play a musical instrument?
Beethoven’s hearing began to deteriorate in his late twenties.  He continued to compose, conduct and perform even after becoming completely deaf. 

Can someone play sports if they must use crutches or a wheel chair?
There are many sports that have been adapted to be played by people with various types of disabilities, as well as several sports that are unique to disabled athletes.  Organized sports are generally in the categories of deaf, physical disabilities, and intellectual disabilities.  Basketball in wheelchairs is a more known sport.

Can a person who has sight out of only one eye draw well?
People who have lost sight in an eye can generally perform most tasks that someone with full eyesight can.  They can not only draw, but drive and pilot also.

Story Suggestion:
My Friend Isabelle, by Eliza Woloson; Younger
2004 Parenting Media Award Winner.  Based on a true friendship.  Isabelle and Charlie are friends.  They both enjoy doing the same things as drawing, playing in the park...  Isabelle has Down Syndrome, Charlie does not.  This is a charming book about friendship.

And They Call Some of These People Retarded, by Unknown; Older
A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100 yard dash.  At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win.  All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry.

The other eight heard the boy cry.  They slowed down and looked back, and then they all turned around and went back.......every one of them.  One girl with Downs Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, "This will make it better."  Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.  Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.  People who were there are still telling the story.  Why?  Because deep down we know this one thing.  What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves.  What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.  If you pass this on, we may be able to change our hearts as well as someone else's.  "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle."  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Crayon Box & Batik; Same & Different 7

Although beautiful pictures can be made out of one color, wouldn't it be boring if we had to always draw with only one color.  The variety of shades is what makes a box of crayons so enticing.  Working with crayons is a lesson in tolerance and diversity.  For the younger child making a crayon box of a variety of people teaches diversity.  For the older child making Batik that originated in other countries, promotes tolerance.

Crayola Box
Explain that the variety of crayons represent the variety of people, with different  personalities, and different colors of skin in many shades. Copy shapes: Box-yellow, Triangles-white, Crayon Word, and Row of Crayons-white.  Cut out shapes, cutting around the word 'Crayons."  On a square of construction paper glue on row of crayons, box, triangles and the crayon word.  Color the row of crayons making the tip faces of different people, making one of them, you.  It is nice if the faces show different colors of skin.  You may want to enlarge the outline.  You can find the crayola shape outline online.

Suggested story:
The Crayon Box That Talked, by Shane Derolf
Quarrelsome talking crayons learn to get along and appreciate each other when the narrator draws with them.  They are shown how each helps create a bigger picture.  It teaches to appreciate other people's differences rather than dislike them.

Batik is a method of dying fabric by hand using wax to cover parts of a pattern, dyeing the exposed fabric and then dissolving the wax.  Batik has been around for centuries and was originated long ago in Egypt, Africa, the Middle East, and several parts of Asia.  It has been both an art and a craft.  Working with crafts from other countries is a good way to build understanding and tolerance of others.

1. Cut a paper bag to 81/2-in by 11-in or larger piece of paper.  Sketch a design drawing lightly, or trace a design.  With crayons using a heavy layer, completely fill in the design.  Use the tips and sides of the crayons.  You must have a thick crayon layer covering the paper. 

2. Crumple the paper completely; the crayon will crack in places.  The paper will become a little softer.

3. Carefully open up the paper and lay it on wax paper.  With black water color paint (or tempura paint thinned with drops of water), paint over the entire piece of paper.  Wipe off excess paint with a paper towel.  Allow paint to dry.

4. Warm an iron on medium heat.  Place dried batik between two sheets of plain paper.  Iron until the design begins to appear on the top plain piece of paper.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Patience; Character Educaton

Old Proverb: Good thing comes to those who wait.
Chinese Proverb: Patience and the mulberry leaf becomes a silk robe.  

Patience is the ability to endure waiting, or delaying gratification without becoming annoyed or upset.  It is waiting with the right attitude.  Patience can help develop the ability to think through and resolve problems.  It's not always easy to wait, especially for children, however waiting patiently becomes easier if we find ways to occupy our time through reading, thinking up a story, or thinking about what we enjoy.  We often become impatient with others over what we expect from them; it is not only important to be patient with ourselves, but also with others.  A good example of patience are the steps it takes to reach a goal, or the patience it takes to learn to ride a bicycle.

The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss; Younger
A young boy is told that his carrot will not grow.  After a long time of pulling weeds, watering and patience the carrot finally grows, and it is huge.

Art Activity: Carrot 

Scroll down to bottom of patience for outline, copy carrot and leaves, cut out and glue the leaves onto the carrot.

The Wright Brothers, by Quentin Reynolds; Older

The Wright brothers inventions were always a step ahead from everyone else.  It took numerous tries, but they invented the worlds first flying machine.

Sitting for 1 minute seems like a long time when watching the clock, (Can use an egg timer).  With color pencil or crayon write the word, Patience, on a piece of paper.  Sit and quietly watch the clock for 1 to 3 minutes (depending on the age).  Take a different color pencil/crayon and trace over the word, Patience.  Watch the clock for another 1 to 3 minutes.  Continue with this process.  When you are finished, children can cut around the word and glue it on a piece of colored construction paper.  

More Activities:
1. The following group games help teach patience.
*Red Light Green Light 
*Mother May I

2. Baking takes patience and is a wonderful teaching tool.

3. Grow a plant.  The time it takes to plant, water, care for the plant, and watching it slowly grow is a wonderful payoff.  At home each child can plant their own plant, or as a family a vegetable can be grown.  For classrooms each child can grow a small plant, or have one classroom plant.

4. Playing board games is a good way to teach patience, since everyone takes a turn.  Set up the game and read the rules out loud so each player is aware of how to play the game.  When you read the rules, stress the importance of giving each player time to play their own turn.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

R Stands For & Yertal the Turtle; Bully

Words are a Big Deal
We have all heard this sang; Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names can never hurt me.  There is nothing true about this sang, because names do hurt and words are a Big Deal!  Words can be said with respect, and words can be said that hurt and disrespect.  It is important to be mindful when we speak and make sure the words that come out of our mouth, are words that are respectful and do not disrespect anyone.   

R Stands For... (Toothpaste Activity)

R stands for respectful words.  Words cam build a person up, or tear them down with disrespect.  Brainstorm words and actions that show respect.  Brainstorm ways children may act that is disrespectful and rude.

On a 6-inch by 6-inch piece of cardboard or heavy construction paper, write a big capital R.  Select one child to be a helper.  Give the helper a tube of toothpaste and ask the child to trace over the R with toothpaste.  Tell everyone that the R stands for all of the respectful words that come out of our mouth.  After the child is finished tracing the R, tell everyone that you have made a big mistake and the R stands for rude words that come out of our mouth.  Hand the helper a popsicle stick and ask them to please put the toothpaste back in the tube.  No matter how hard the child tries, they will not be able to put the toothpaste back.  Explain that this is an example of what we say, and when disrespectful and rude words come out of our mouth, we can't take them back, they are out in the universe forever.

Yertle the Turtle, by Dr. Seuss
Yertle is the King of the pond.  He stands on his subjects in order to reach higher and higher…  He decides to expand his kingdom and demands that more and more turtles add to his throne, and did not care how uncomfortable the turtles were at the bottom of this pile.  That is until one brave turtle had, had enough and burps.   Yertal falls into the mud, which ended his rule.

To make the brave turtle: Glue pieces on a background, or glue together and do not use a background; stack turtles on top of each other.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Friend Interview; Friend/Social Skills 6

Friend Interview
A fun way to get to know someone is through a Friend Interview.  It also gives the children practice in asking questions, which allow children to get to know each other.  Print out copies of the Interview forms.  Pair children up and have them interview each other, writing down the information they are given.  One child should complete their interview, and then the children reverse roles; the interviewee, becomes the interviewer.  There are younger and older children versions below.