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Lesson on Disability Awareness: What Can Our Bodies Do?

written by: Marlene Gundlach•edited by: Benjamin Sell•updated: 2/7/2013

By becoming aware of how our own bodies work, we can become more sensitive to disabled individuals with physical limitations.

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    Objective: To help students become aware of how different body parts work.

    Our bodies work in many ways, and we usually don’t even think about it. By helping children build an awareness of how their eyes, ears, hands, and legs work, they can more fully understand what it might be like to lose the use of one of those functions.

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    Activities

    1. If you made the student activity posters from Lesson I, have students use theirs to make a list of what body parts are used in each activity. Download and give each student a copy of the activity/body function template to fill out. Share as a class and duplicate the chart on the board. Help students see that, for example in baseball, seeing is as important as using your arms and legs. Discuss how the loss of one of the functions would make a particular activity more difficult to accomplish.

    2. Have each student use their own bodies as examples, and ask them to point to different parts of the body. Ask them to point to head, eyes, hands, legs. Discuss what each part does. (Shake your head, make a fist, blink eyes, wiggle toes, etc.)

    3. Play pin the tail on the donkey. This fun game helps students see how the body compensates when one sense is denied. Discuss the difficulties they had and how they managed to complete the task of pinning the tail when they could not see.

    4. Construct a feel box that includes objects with a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures. Have students reach into the box and pick up an item without looking at it (may need to use a blindfold). Ask them to describe what they feel and then identify the object. Discuss the difficulty they had completing the task.

    5. Play “Listen to the classroom.”Have students close their eyes for 30-60 seconds and then when time is up, they open their eyes and you can make a list and discuss what they heard. You can complete the activity in other locations, and play “Listen to the hallway” or “Listen to the playground”, and look at how the types of sounds differ. Talk about how taking away their sense of sight, makes them more alert to what they hear around them.