5th grade has 2 lessons and one abilities awareness day. This grade focuses on celebrating all abilities.
Lesson 1: Treasure Hunt for Improvements
This is not a test to be graded. The goal of this test is to see what kids remember about disabilities from previous years and to discuss what they do not remember.
(Side note: If there are students who have not attended the school in the past, still allow them to take the test and try their best!)
The link below is for the test:
Teachers, please make sure to review answers after every student has completed the test. If students get them wrong, write that down so that you know to go back to that later and review it.
This lesson will have 5th graders notice how adaptable/ acceptable schools and society are to people with different abilities.
Below is link to lesson plan:
1st: Start off by telling the students that you are going to walk around your school. While you are walking tell them to pay attention to how their school accommodates to kids with special need (kids in wheelchairs, kids with sensory issues, blind/hearing impairments, etc.) Have them look for-
Ramps for students in wheelchairs to use
Braille writing for kids who have seeing impairments
Sensory Friendly Classroom
Doorknobs you can open easily without using your thumb (Some people don’t have strong thumbs and so grabbing a round doorknob can be too hard to do.)
A park where kids in wheelchairs can play, too
A water fountain or sink that is only three feet off the ground
The route a person in a wheelchair would use during a fire drill at your school
A place where someone in a wheelchair can sit with friends who don’t use wheelchairs at a lunch table or during church
2nd: Once your class is done touring the school, come back to the classroom and make a chart of what your school is doing that is good for inclusion, and make a list of ways they could improve.
3rd: After students do that, have them share ways society is accepting/ not accepting to people of all abilities (ex: handicap spots, ramps to get into places, braille on signs, etc.).
4th: After the class finishes the chart, have students pair off. Give them paper so students can draw a park or classroom that is acceptable to all abilities.
5th: Once the class is finished, show this video:
6th: After the video, close by discussing to the class that all kids want friends.
Lesson 2: Ability Awareness Showdown
This is an activity that gets students involved in spreading awareness through teamwork and artwork.
In this lesson all 5th grade classes will have a competition of who can make the best door banner celebrating all abilities.
Below is the link to the lesson plan:
Follow the lesson plan as stated. You will need a poster large enough to fit your door and art supplies to decorate.
Make this fun! It is the last lesson of the year. Make sure students know that this is a competition, and the principals will vote on their favorite one. If you are feeling nice maybe add a prize (like a movie day, an extra recess, etc.)
Example of door banners:
Since this is the last lesson of the year, it may take longer than an hour to make these banners. Let students take the time needed to completely finish the poster.
Abilities Awareness Day
Have students get into groups of 4.
Give them a list of disabilities, have each group pick one and research about it. Then, have them put together a short presentation about that different ability.
List could include: Autism, Down Syndrome, ADHD, bipolar, dyslexia, hearing impairments, seeing impairments, Cerebral Palsy, etc.
It can be a skit, PowerPoint, song, etc. Just make sure it is good enough that everyone can understand it!
Have students, on a loose-leaf paper, write down each different ability and 2-3 facts about each that they learned from the presentations.
After the presentations, take the 5th graders to the gym. If necessary you can spilt up the 5th grade classes. Have the students participate in wheelchair sports. They can play basketball, tennis, wheelchair racing, etc.