Wendy Harris teaches at Metro Deaf School in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has been a classroom teacher for Deaf students of all ages since 2003 and currently splits her teaching duties between high school social studies and teaching braille and other skills to the school’s DeafBlind students ages 2-21.
Mind the Gap
Students gain knowledge and skills in civics and history when schools provide effective instruction and when students have opportunities to express their voice and to engage in activities like service-learning. Yet American education is falling far short–in elementary grades in particular–and especially for students with disabilities.
This lesson has a sharable ready-made album of primary sources with an introduction essay by the author!
“I Can’t Even Get To The Back of the Bus” – Disability, 504 and the Power of Protest
This lesson investigates why and how people take action to make a difference. Building from an inquiry-based RAN chart, the lesson explores the context of the 1977 protests calling on the Federal Government to actually implement 504 access legislation. Featuring a variety of primary sources, including testimony of activist Ed Roberts.
Amazing and student-empowering teacher-created lesson plans have been the result each time we offer this course!
Our online graduate-level one-credit course, Accessing Inquiry for Students with Disabilities through Primary Sources, offered from January 16 to March 18, provides an opportunity to expand your comfort with finding and using primary sources to engage students of all abilities. Discuss strategies and tools with seasoned educators and creative colleagues around the country through the online discussions throughout the month.
Organizing a rich text set of primary sources requires that students analyze and make sense of several sources on a topic. In this case, they seek to answer a focused guiding question. Students sort through about a dozen images, letters, forms, and political cartoon. In practice, a teacher could offer fewer sources, though it is a valuable sometimes to require students to choose among sources. The primary sources are also give context by a secondary source narrative from the Veterans Administration.
Rubrics are frequently used to communicate expectations and standards to students. Making expectations as clear, simple, and easily understood as possible is a practice of value to all learners.
A streamlined rubric form, using one column to specify the target standard, offers advantages for accessibility–especially fewer words to absorb–over more typical multi-column rubrics. This Single-Point Mastery Rubric is an example.