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Grades K-3: Disability and Community Leadership

A classroom in a children's school with a blackboard and equipment in the background. A group of children are sitting or standing in front of a medical table, and one boy is laying down in front of the table. A nurse in a white uniform leans over the boy, adjusting his leg. Eleanor Roosevelt, wearing a large fur coat, smiles down at the boy from behind the table. The children have cheerful expressions.
Eleanor Roosevelt visits children at Langford School. (c1930s). Harris & Ewing, photographers. Library of Congress.

Grades K-3 Unit Overview: Disability and Community Leadership 

The Unit Overview features a grid of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies and tools employed, standards, and a list of almost 20 primary sources used in the unit with thumbnails for each. (Lists of primary sources in lesson plans include hyperlinks to sources as readable text. Lesson plans detail the UDL strategies and tools that they use.) The Unit Overview also lists all secondary sources and background materials for teachers used in the unit. Link to the Grades K-3 Unit Overview

All three lessons can be taught in one grade or introduced over multiple grades.

Grades K-3 - Lesson 1: How Can We Include Everyone?

Students explore primary sources and their own experiences to become familiar with ideas about disability and ways that they, their community, and their school can support access for everyone. Lesson 1 slides introduce a call to use words about disability with respect. The slides also include a definition of disability and feature pictures from the Library of Congress that show tools for access. 

Grades K-1 - Lesson 2: What Makes a Good Leader?

Students identify and agree to ways to make decision-making inclusive. Students discuss characteristics of good leaders using illustrated stories of disability advocates. Lesson 2 features four stories of disability activists: Judy Heumann, Roland Johnson, Roger O'Kelly, and George Veditz. The stories are presented at three reading levels, two as handouts, and one in the Lesson 2 slides.  

Grades 2-3 - Lesson 3: Advocate for Access and for Rights

Students explore a case study of disability advocacy, the campaign for the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan to install the first curb cuts, to dig deeper into how civic leaders strengthen their communities. Lesson 3 slides present the story of that 1945 campaign. The slides also provide examples of historical markers to support the final assessment assignment in which students design a marker for the curb cut campaign. 

Screen cap of the unit overview for Disability and Community Leadership.
Grades K-3 Unit Overview: Disability and Community Leadership
Link to a google doc of the grades K-3 Unit Overview.
A photograph of a group of children in front of a large American flag. The children are dressed in early 20th century clothing and have their hands up in the middle of signing the national anthem.
Grades K-3 - Lesson 1: Introduction: How Can We Include Everyone?

Link to a google doc of the introductory lesson 1 for grades K-3. 

Includes slides. 

A photograph of President George HW Bush, a tall white man with greying hair wearing a suit, presenting a folder with an ADA award to Ronald Johnson, a shorter African American man with balding hair wearing a suit. The two men stand side by side and look at the award they both have a hand on.
Grades K-1 - Lesson 2: What Makes a Good Leader?

Link to a google doc of lesson 2 for grades K-1. 

Includes slides. 

Inaccessible curb, mid-20th century. A wheelchair is rolled right up to the edge.
Grades 2-3 - Lesson 3: Advocate for Access and for Rights

Link to a google doc of lesson 3 for grades 2-3. 

Includes slides. 

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