Keep it Simple - Keep it Fun: A Thematic Unit for EveryoneBy Bryant, Pat; Callahan, Sandra; Netzel-Muehlenbach, Kristen; Rick, Julie; Closing the Gap, Vol. 23, No. 5, pp. 18-19
Publication Date: December 2004/January 2005
Article discusses a thematic unit approach that can be used in elementary school special education classrooms to create language exposure and enrichment materials. Thematic units serve as a tool for students to teach individual concepts to their students, and allow children to explore a topic in depth and make connections between school subjects and real life. Collaborative methods are used to first choose a topic and its key vocabulary and concepts. Then, Mayer Johnson’s Boardmaker is used to create a printed book, songboard and extension activities, while Buildability from Don Johnson, IntelliPics Studio by Intellitools, or Power Point Slide Show by Microsoft Office is used to create a computer activity. The printed book is used to encourage student interaction, as removable picture symbols that facilitate early literacy skills are added to the bottoms of the pages. The songboard incorporates core vocabulary into a familiar child’s tune, as the instructor points to the enlarged picture symbols while slowly singing a song. This allows students to attach meanings to words. The songboard also incorporates removable picture symbols, which the student can manipulate while singing the song. Independent computer activities such as computer books and question/answer program provide for opportunities for learning through repetition, while extension activities consist of reading cards and various craft activities.
Assistive Products Discussed: INTELLIPICS
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)