In my Students with Special Needs course, we are learning about a variety of exceptionalities and inclusion strategies that may be used in the creation of a classroom community.
One activity that I particularly liked was a perspective activity that helped us to place ourselves in the shoes of a student who may have a hearing impairment.
1. Put music on and start quietly giving instructions for an activity.
- Give a high five to ten students
- Touch the four corners of the classroom
- Tap your foot eight times
- Complete four exercises
- Write down two thoughts about this activity
- Initial the board
2. Provide some students with written instructions, provide others hints, and for some students, reprimand
them for not listening.
3. Focus the discussion on the strategies that the students used to complete the activity. Make sure to hear the perspectives of the students with and without help. For example, “Was it easier to do the activity when you had written instructions?” or “How did you feel when you didn’t know what to do?”
Perspective activities are a great way to help students understand and respect the struggles of their peers as well as the extra resources that they may need to be included in the classroom. If you ever have a scenario where students get jealous of the assistance received by a person with an exceptionality, this can reinforce the principle that “FAIR DOES NOT MEAN EQUAL.”
*Remember to consult the student with the exceptionality before engaging in these activities.*