Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments
balloons, birthday cards, birthday confetti, birthday gift wrap, bows, candles, party cups, party gift bags, party napkins, party plates, ribbons, streamers
Possible Vocabulary for this unit include but are not limited to:
amethyst, angry, ankle, April, Aquamarine, August, back, cheek, chin, December, diamond, ear, elbow, emerald, eye, eyebrow, February, feet, fingers, frustrated, garnet, hand, happy, head, hips, January, July, June, knees, March, May, neck, nose, November, October, opal, pearl, peridot, Ruby, sad, sapphire, scared, September, shoulder, stomach, tired, toes, topaz, turquoise, worried
Objective: Student will classify vocabulary words with words in the appropriate categories.
Inform the student that these words have things in common and can be grouped together. Present a simple web with headings of categories. Have the student read the word and place it in the category where it may belong. If the student has difficulty, encourage them to request help. Sometimes a word could belong in more than one category. When this happens, allow the student to select where they would like it to go, or write the word on two cards and place it in both categories. Possible web categories include:
- Body Parts: ankle, back, cheek, chin, ear, elbow, eye, eyebrow, feet, fingers, hand, head, hips, knees, neck, nose, shoulder, stomach, toes
- Gems/Birthstones: amethyst, aquamarine, diamond, emerald, garnet, opal, pearl, peridot, ruby, sapphire, topaz, turquoise
- Emotions: angry, frustrated, happy, sad, scared, tired, worried
- Months of the Year: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Literature Related to Welcome Back to School..
My Many Colored Days – Dr. Seuss
Quick as a Cricket – Audrey Wood
Boxes and bags – Carl Sandburg
I Should Have Stayed in Bed Today: Something Big Has Been Here - Prelutsky
Phizzog – Carl Sandburg
I like Me – Rono
The Name Game Song
We All Live Together – Greg & Steve
Pop Culture Songs
I Wanna Talk About Me - Toby Keith
Sing My Songs to Me - Jackson Browne
Songs About Me - Trace Adkins
Other Informative Text:
Menus from favorite restaurants
Yearbooks from previous years
All About Me Concepts
Most everyone has two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two ears, two arms, and two legs, etc. Some people are born without some features. Some people have short hair while others have long hair. Some have straight hair while others have curly hair. Some people have a lot of hair on their bodies, while others don't. People have different colored eyes, most are brown or blue or green. People are different heights and some people are thin while others are heavy. Emphasize that we all look different and that is part of what makes us unique!
Interests & Dislikes
Another area we may have similarities or differences are in the areas of interests and dislikes. This can include favorite colors, favorite books, favorite leisure time activities, favorite recreational activities, favorite teams, favorite vacation spots, favorite movies or television shows and the list goes on! Inform students that through the activities they will learn things they have in common with their classmates.
Discuss with students that it is normal to have different feelings and emotions and we often experience many different emotions within a day. Write list of emotion words from book. Encourage students to think of other emotions. Talk about when students might experience these emotions.
A birthstone is a gemstone that symbolizes the month of birth. Many different cultures had their own list and jewelers' lists are often inconsistent over what is a traditional birthstone. In 1912, in an effort to standardize birthstones, the organization Jewelers of America officially adopted a list of birthstones. It is currently the most widely used list in the US and many other locations. The following information was listed in the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2010.
- January. Garnet. Loyalty. Garnets were once thought to hold medicinal value and protect against poisons, wounds, and bad dreams! They come in red, black, green, or are colorless.
- February. Amethyst. Sincerity. Amethysts were believed to help people stay awake and think clearly. They are found in geodes and range in color from light mauve to deep purple.
- March. Aquamarine. Courage. This gem was thought to heal illnesses of the stomach, liver, jaws, and throat. They range from deep blue to blue-green. The most valued and rare are the deep blue gems.
- April. Diamond. Enduring love. People associate them with romance, mystery, power, greed, and magic. The hardest natural substance on Earth, diamonds are a form of carbon.
- May. Emerald. Pure Love. Emeralds were thought to prevent epilepsy, stop bleeding, cure fevers and diarrhea, and keep the wearer from panicking. These gems are light to deep green.
- June. Pearl. Innocence. Thought to possess magical powers, there used to be laws about who could own and wear pearls (powerful, rich people). No two pearls are exactly alike.
- July. Ruby. Contentment. A ruby supposedly brought good health, cured bleeding, guarded against wickedness, and foretold misfortune. Rubies are a red form of the mineral corundum.
- August. Peridot. Happiness. People felt that peridots could ward off anxiety, help one speak better, and improve relationships. Peridot is the only gem ever found in meteorites.
- September. Sapphire. Clear thinking. Once a source of protection for travelers, sapphires brought peace and wisdom. Some are pale; others are brilliant blue. They also come in orange, green, yellow, and pink.
- October. Opal. Hope. An opal was believed to bring beauty, success, and happiness, as well as to ward off heart and kidney failure, and prevent fainting. Opals form over a long, long time.
- November. Topaz. Faithfulness. Legends proclaimed that a topaz made one clear-sighted, increased strength, and warned of poison. Topazes come in a range of colors: gold, pink, green, or colorless.
- December. Turquoise. Success. Some believed turquoise was a love charm. If a man gave a woman turquoise jewelry, he was pledging his love for her. It forms where mineral-rich water seeps into rocky gaps.
Have a set of cards depicting various emotions. Have students take turns acting out emotions (provide verbal description of activity for students who have significant visual impairments). Have peers try to guess emotions that are being acted out.
Meaning Of Names
Discuss full names. Have students look up meanings of first and middle names. Have students copy the meaning of their name or provide pre-printed cards with students names to be matched up with the meaning. Place sheet with the students name and the meaning of their name on construction paper to create a border. Decorate with a variety of materials or candles, ribbon, mini bows, party confetti, etc.
Have students group party items by their type: decoration (balloons, streamers, signs, confetti), for eating (party plates, napkins, forks/spoons, cups), for wrapping gift (bows, ribbon, tags, wrapping paper, bags), for party favors (sound makers, bouncy balls, slide puzzles, etc). You could also have them sort the items by color, size (big bows, small bows, big gift bags, small gift bags), or by theme.
Have students assemble nesting gift boxes or stack party cups. Extend the activity by additionally expecting them to sort the cups by party theme.
Discuss how fingerprints make us all unique. No one has the same fingerprints. Allow students to create characters and pictures using fingerprints. Provide various powered magnifying glasses and if available, a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). Have students examine fingerprints under magnifying glasses. Provide washable inkpads and paper. Have students stamp their fingers and compare fingerprints. Examine these prints with magnifiers. For students with limited or no vision, provide model magic or clay for students to press their fingers into and feel prints and ridges.
Similarities In Appearances
Discuss how we all have similarities and differences. Provide mirrors so the students can look at themselves in the mirror. Compare/Contrast how classmates are alike and how they are different.
For students with limited or no vision, provide verbal descriptions and discuss length of hair, color of eyes, skin color, glasses and areas of comparison.
Funny Face & It's All in the Tone
Hold up cards depicting expressions (photos). Describe what the person in the picture is doing or looks like. Ask students to think about what reasons could cause a person to make this expression. Discuss how you can tell how a person feels by their facial expressions and their tone of voice. Have the students make the expression and watch themselves in a mirror.
For those with limited or no vision, use different tones of voice and have the students identify your emotions by your tone of voice. Encourage students to show emotion by their tone of voice. Practice saying a simple phrase such as "I had milk in my cereal." In different tones of voice. How does it change what is being said?
Discuss and Compare Likes and Dislikes
Have students make lists of recreational or leisure activities that they enjoy. Provide a checklist with additional space for other areas of interest. For example: bowling, riding a bike, reading a book, going to the movies, taking a walk, swimming, going to a game, camping, fishing, watching TV or DVDs, listening to the radio, playing games, or writing.
When I Was A Baby…
Encourage the students to bring in a picture of them as a baby and a favorite toy to share and discuss with class. Have students bring in baby photos. Place on board and have students guess who’s baby picture is who’s.
Discuss how people age and compare family that are in different stages of life. Match present day pictures beside baby pictures. Next have student’s place cards with students’ names next to the students baby picture.
This is a good opportunity toward the beginning of the school year to invite parents or caregivers to the class. Encourage students to show their parents around. Prior to the visit, prompt students to ask about their jobs and note family similarities and differences or common interests. Encourage parents to bring in items they may use at their work and discuss their jobs or bring objects related to hobbies or objects from their childhood.
While parents visit, discuss similar traits students have to their parents or similar likes and dislikes. While family members are discussing their jobs, encourage students to listen for information and obtain information from them. Encourage them to display courtesy and respect during the presentation. Take pictures of families together. Add the pictures to the class photo album. If adding it to a recordable album, be sure to record their voices as well.
Fill boxes with grossly different sounds and wrap with birthday wrapping paper (bells, rice, blocks, etc.) Have students match boxes of same noises.
Assign an emotion paired with a color to each student. Have each student write a sentence or two about when they've had this emotion or how they feel when they experience this emotion. Encourage them to illustrate their page. When finished, each student will present their page to the class. Assemble the pages together to create a class book.
Provide students with a model of their name in print or braille. Provide the students with letter tiles in print and/or braille to encourage them to copy their name.
Encourage students to write in their journals about what makes them special and unique, their preferences, etc. Alternatively, encourage students to write in journals about themselves: family, pets, where they were born. Discuss how some people write in journals or diaries about what they have done, ideas they have, or about relationships, etc.
Have students write/draw or dictate autobiographies. Assist the students in summarizing the important events in the students life. Write each on a different index card. Help the student place the events in order and place them on a tactual timeline on a large sheet of construction paper. Ask parents to send in pictures or objects that represent important times in the students' lives.
Help students create a timeline of their lives (ask parents to help provide important events in students life). Encourage students to choose pictures or objects to represent significant points in their lives.
All About Me Book
Have students complete forms about what their preferences are (food, activities, etc.) or ask parents for assistance. Use this information to help students create an “All About Me” book. Dictate or write simple stories about themselves. You may want to have the following in the book: color, fruit, pet, number, ice cream, story, TV show, recess activity, snack, holiday, book, animal, dinner, school subject, sport, toothpaste, etc.
Research & Create Family Crest
Inform students that they are going to research their family sign or crest. Assist students in locating their family crest online. Have students use various materials to either copy their family crest or design their own. For students with limited or no vision, provide students with a 3D example of a crest. Provide them with materials to create their own crest.
Provide students with a collection of birthday candles, party favors or wrapped candy (BEWARE OF CHOKING HAZARDS!). Encourage them to count various sets of objects. Have the students compare sets to determine which set is greater than, less than or the same as the objects in another group.
Gift Bag Sequence
Present students with birthday gift bags that are labeled in print/braille with numbers 1 to 10 or more if able. Add tactual dots for students who need additional support. Have the students place the corresponding number of objects in the numbered birthday gift bags. Have the students arrange the birthday gift bags in numeric order.
Birthday Candle Number Match
Have students match sets of birthday candles to the corresponding birthday number candles.
How Many Candles?
Have students determine “how many” in created sets of birthday candles.Encourage students to write the number that corresponds to the amount in a set on cards or match pre-numbered cards to sets. Arrange the cards from least to most. Have the students determine if the amounts are odd or even.
My favorite Taste Test: Have students indicate their favorite food at the beginning of the week. At the end of the week, obtain the foods and have a taste test. BE AWARE OF ANY ALLERGIES & SUBSTITUTE ACCORDINGLY!! Complete a chart depicting each item. Have students identify which items they liked and place a smile (or other indicator) on the chart. Engage the students in a discussion about the different tastes and textures. (salty, sour, sweet, bland, crunchy, soft, etc.) Discuss how results may vary if other classes or family members completed the graph. Encourage the students to read the completed graph and develop a summary sheet. What was the most popular item? What was the least popular?
Students help create birthday chart and indicate when there birthday is and how old they are.
Student Characteristic Chart
Make a chart to compare students hair color, eye color, skin color, height, etc.
Job, Career, & Volunteering
Have various size boxes available along with wrapping paper for students to practice wrapping gifts.
Research a local family that is need. Discuss with students that everyone has abilities to help others that are in need. Collect items for child or family. Have students wrap various boxes with birthday wrapping paper.
Provide students with paints, colored pencils or other art supplies design birthday (or other type) card designs for the front of cards. Copy the design onto cardstock and create gift sets for the students to sell.
Provide students with melamine or ceramic plates to decorate for birthday celebrations or to individualize to their likes and what makes them unique..
Help students to make paper-mache masks to learn about facial features. Encourage students to decorate or paint the faces. Add hair and glasses if appropriate.
Provide students with birthday cards, birthday confetti and glitter and white glue thinned with water. Brush some thinned glue over part of the base paper. Sprinkle or place confetti on sticky areas. Brush with more thinned glue.
Class Birthday Chair
Locate an old wooden chair. Have the students help decorate it to create a unique birthday chair for the classroom. This can be reused for future classes, sold to raise money, or donated in an art auction for a good cause!
Have students create and decorate garden stones: Place student's handprints in stone, have them (or you) write their name on the top. Create braille of students' names using beads for current or future braille readers. Allow students to place non-porous objects, shapes, textures, etc. on the stone to represent their likes/interests.
By Tiffany & Co. 1870
By her who in this month (January) is born
No gem save garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship, and fidelity.
The February-born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they an amethyst will wear.
Who in this world of ours their eyes
In March first open shall be wise,
In days of peril firm and brave,
And wear a bloodstone to their grave.
She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone,
Emblem of innocence, is known.
Who first beholds the light of day
In spring's sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife.
Who comes with summer to this earth,
And owes to June her hour of birth,
With ring of agate on her hand
Can health, wealth, and long life command.
The glowing ruby shall adorn,
Those who in July are born;
Then they'll be exempt and free
From love's doubts and anxiety.
Wear a sardonyx or for thee,
No conjugal felicity;
The August-born without this stone,
'Tis said, must live unloved and lone.
A maiden born when September leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze,
A sapphire on her brow should bind
'Twill cure diseases of the mind.
October's child is born for woe,
And life's vicissitudes must know,
But lay an opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those woes to rest.
Who first comes to this world below
In drear November's fog and snow,
Should prize the topaz's amber hue,
Emblem of friends and lovers true.
If cold December gave you birth,
The month of snow and ice and mirth,
Place on your hand a turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate'er you do.
-an old English nursery rhyme
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath Day,
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay