4th Grade has 2 lessons and one abilities awareness day. This grade focuses on seeing and hearing impairments and empathy.
Lesson 1: Other Ways to Communicate
This lesson is made to help students learn sign language. It focuses mainly on letters and numbers, but there are also some fun phrases that they will learn as well. The goal is to help students learn a second language that will help them interact with more people in the community.
The link below has the lesson plan:
1st: Teachers should project the alphabet on the board, have students learn how to say their name.
The link to alphabet is below:
Let students have fun with this and give them enough time to learn their own name and other words with the alphabet. Make sure to help them throughout the lesson so every student has little to no confusion on it.
2nd: Next show students a list of numbers. Have them practice all the numbers.
Link to learning numbers:
Link to learning simple phrases:
Remind them to not mess around because it is important to have the background of two languages. Show them that they can use sign language in the real world if needed as a means of communication with other people. Also, tell them to not judge those who have to use sign language as a way of communication. Help them realize every person has their own unique way of talking and doing things!
3rd: After students learn how to say their name in sign language, tell students that sometimes people have trouble seeing and use braille as a way to communicate. Pass out the braille alphabet and have them write their names.
Link to braille alphabet:
4th: After they learn how to write their name in braille, show this video.
5th: After the video, ask students if they are able to describe a color. Emphasize blind people cannot see colors. They associate sounds with things.
Lesson 2: Empathy
This lesson will introduce what empathy is and the difference it can make when it is shown to others. Students will learn how to identify other people's emotions and how to help them when they see that someone is sad, angry, scared, etc. They will become more open to others people's feelings in hopes that they will start helping each other instead of judging each other.
The lesson plan is below:
1st: Start the lesson by asking students if they know the definition of empathy. After listening to their responses play this video to show what it is and decrease confusion on it.
2nd: After watching the video, go to the assignment on empathy.
Teach the lesson on page 4, called "Identifying Feelings" (Teachers do not have to do the part about taking pictures of students feelings, the main activity is on page 5. We would recommend though, having students brainstorm a list of emotions)
The tool kit needed to teach the lesson on empathy is below:
Throughout the whole lesson think of things to say that will make students understand fully what empathy is.
Encourage them to start showing it more in the classroom and outside. Constantly throughout the year emphasize on and make sure they do not forget what it is and how to show it!
3rd: Once finished with lesson, teachers have students pull out a classmates name from a hat or bucket and with that name they have to write one nice thing about them (on a post it note).
4th: Once they are finished, have students hand the notes back into the teacher (make sure they write the name of the person who is receiving the compliment) . Teachers at the end of the day pass out the notes to the student it belongs to.
5th: Optional Activity (recommended): Give each student a Random Act of Kindness board (a copy is provided in Project Self Kit). Challenge students to complete their whole board in one week. Each day of that week give students a few minutes at the beginning of the day to color in the ones they have completed.
Abilities Awareness Day
The stations throughout the day will focus on many different abilities, so students understand all abilities. 4th grade will focus on physical disabilities (amputation, in a wheelchair, no use of a limb, blind, deaf, etc.)
Spilt the students into smaller groups and have them follow each station. If possible, for this day have parent volunteers to help out at stations.
1st Station: Students are blindfolded and attempt to put together an easy preschool puzzle.
2nd Station: Students tie a meter stick to their leg and try to walk up steps.
3rd Station: Students will make braille name tags. (Have braille alphabet on table for students to reference) give them time to decorate it.
4th Station: Students will learn how people in wheelchairs exercise.
Have students sit in their chairs and participate in a couple minutes of the exercise.
5th Station: Students again will be blindfolded. Their goal is to paint or draw with markers a star and moon in the night sky or a bird flying in the sky, something along the lines of that. The goal is for them to see how difficult it would be to draw something simple or color as a person who cannot see. It's very hard!
6th Station: Have students write a short story including at least one person with a disability and how they would be a friend to them. They can even draw a picture at the end if there is time.
Give students approximately 15 minutes at each station to complete the tasks. Go around and help as much as possible and answer any questions!