By: Carmen Willings
These units are designed specifically for students who are blind or visually impaired as it incorporates the various areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum. Thematic units and activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory. These units are based on the philosophy that learning occurs when students have hands on experiences with real materials and experience repetition in a variety of ways. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students, but ensure success. The core belief is that concept awareness and understanding is essential to reading and writing.
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If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.
Teaching in thematic units can help a student make connections between and among the topics of instruction that are discussed. Units expand vocabulary, concepts, and skills beyond those which can be experienced incidentally in daily routines or in isolation. This page details the importance of teaching in thematic units.
Beginning of the Year Units
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of a new school year including orienting the student to the classroom and school, school rules and new and familiar people.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of All About Me. This unit provides students with an opportunity to share with their classmates about what makes them unique. It also provides them with an opportunity to learn about the similarities and differences they have.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of apples. This unit is a good choice particularly if you live in a region of the country that grows apples. Tailor this unit to the region you live in.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of Autumn and trees. As leaves begin to change colors, days get shorter and colder, it is a natural time to discuss the change of season and to discuss Autumn, trees and activities associated with the season.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns. Pumpkins are familiar object to most students. There are pumpkin related decorations as well as pumpkin farms with corn mazes and pumpkin patches. Many families carve pumpkins in preparation for Halloween.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of Thanksgiving and Harvest. Most American families celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a time to get together with family and friends and reflect on the year. Families may celebrate the day in different ways. This unit focuses on the traditions surrounding the day.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of Christmas and the traditions associated with it. This unit focuses on American traditions associated with the Christmas holiday. These traditions include putting up a Christmas tree, and all the sights and sounds of the season which are visible everywhere during this holiday season.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of winter and the changes that can be seen and felt in the environment and how it impacts how people live. This unit can be individualized for the region you live in, but all students should understand the concept of winter, understand what snow is, and the effects of cold and snow on people.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of animals and how they adapt, migrate, or hibernate in the winter. In school, students learn about migration and hibernation but these may be confusing concepts. Pre-teaching and reinforcing this information with the student may help the student gain a better understanding of this concept.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of staying healthy. This is a timely topic during cold and flue season. There are important steps everyone should take to avoid getting sick during this season. Encourage students to stay hydrated, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep and use good hygiene.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of Valentine's Day. Most students look forward to the fun of exchanging Valentines and giving and receiving tokens of friendship and love. Stores are filled with Valentine cards, flowers, and chocolates. This is a natural time to discuss feelings, friendship and love. It is also an opportunity to learn the history and tradition of this holiday.
This Expanded Core Curriculum unit will provide the students with more information on how we communicate and how to stay safe and not believe all the spam mail we receive – in the mailbox or online. Depending on the age and abilities of your students, this may also be an appropriate time to discuss cyber bullying and appropriate online communication.
This Expanded Core Curriculum Unit focuses on the concept of Spring and planting. As the weather begins to warm up and evidences of spring can be seen, felt, and heard, it is a natural time to begin to discuss the season of spring. Discuss activities associated with spring along with pointing out the evidences of spring.