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Re: lesson plans for students with learning disabilities


Date: Sun Mar 07 2004 - 10:02:38 PST

I have specialized in teaching students with learning disabilities for 21
years now, and can offer some basic descriptions and guidlines. They are:
     1. Normal to above average intelligence
     2. All have a different array of strengths and weaknesses (mostly
language-based), which is why
           they need small classes/ or extra help
     3. Many are very creative;( Chuck Close is reportedly dyslexic) "right
     4. The issues that drive teachers crazy are generally:
               a) Accompanying attention-deficit hyper-active disorder
(ADHD), which means they
                    often have great difficulty staying on task
               b) Often "young" for their age - socially immature
               b) Not following directions - often because they don't
understand (auditory difficulties)
               c) Often very disorganized and forget things
               d) Oppositional behavior (probably the toughest, usually
emotionally based)

**Lessons for LD students:

     1. In general, keep instructions simple, no more than 3 steps at a
time (memory issues)
       2. Any lesson with a clear sequence is generally a good lesson -
     3. Strong visuals , quick demos
     4. !Don't talk too much! (ADHD and auditory issues)They are actually
very hands on and like to get on with it!
      5. Don't insult their intelligence; many are very bright, some are in
the gifted range
      **Some lessons that have been popular:

          A. Simple, realistic drawing (they tend to be very concrete) - how
to draw a face, using the half face photograph and drawing the
mirror image; basic 1-point perspective. basic landscape
showing how aerial perspective works
          B. Papier Mache - great medium for these guys as long as they
understand the structure -
              Masks, dragons and animals are very popular (you can make small
animals using pipecleaner armatures that are wrapped
in paper towels/newsprint + tape
         C. Cartooning - many are aspiring cartoonists
         D. Stenciled designs - any kind of stenciling with instructions
for creating repeated designs are
              generally succesful - especially for students with poor
motor skills
         E. They love clay! Competition for the tallest coil pot, slabs
with images incised or carved
               low relief. . . .
         F. They love paint! Color mixing designs are great warm-ups for
a painting project

For more specifics, you can email me at:

Hope some of this helps. . . . . . Best regards, Pam Whisenhunt