Grade 3: Eager Eddy

Grade 3: Eager Eddy

Introduction

Eager Eddy – The World’s Most Active Dude

Unit Summary

This unit includes five cross-curricular and/or integrated lessons that address curriculum expectations from three curricula: Language Arts, Mathematics, and Health and Physical Education. Using a children’s book about a student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a spring board, students will explore concepts of empathy, self- identity, equity, inclusion, learning needs, and universal design from a strengths perspective. They will deepen their awareness of accessibility issues while practising a variety of skills, including listening, speaking, reading, writing, reflection, measurement, data management, body balance and healthy living. Activities #3, 4 and 5 provide excellent opportunities for the classroom teacher to work in partnership with colleagues responsible for Health and Physical Education, the occupational therapist or physiotherapist assigned to the school, another member of the school team or a parent or someone else from the community. Please see the Accessibility+ hub for additional information and resources related to this unit.

Connections to Accessibility Awareness: The Big Ideas

The following accessibility messages are addressed in the activities in this lesson:

  • Students need to help develop a classroom culture that fosters a sense of belonging for all students.
  • Every person has unique gifts to share and contributions to make.
  • Students need to learn about different disabilities and understand the challenges of living with a disability.
  • Students sometimes need special assistance, equipment or technology to learn.
  • What is necessary for some is good for all.

Considerations

Important Considerations for Program Planning

In keeping with the inclusive nature of accessibility and best teaching practices, lessons and instruction must provide a continuum of supports for all students, including students with accessibility and/or special education needs. The front matter of all revised curriculum policy documents highlights elements to consider in planning classroom lessons and instruction, including universal design, Differentiated Instruction, Equity and Inclusive Education, the perspective of First Nation, Métis and Inuit people, meeting the needs of English Language Learners and of students with special education needs. See the Accessibility+ hub for more information about these and related topics.

Community Connections

Connections with parents, members of the broader school community, agencies and institutions, social services, community organizations, corporations, and local businesses provide important opportunities for supporting accessibility awareness for students. Community partners can be an important resource in students’ learning as volunteers, mentors, guest speakers, participants in the school’s accessibility events or models of accessibility awareness in the life of the community. Modelling and mentoring can enrich not only the educational experience of students but also the life of the community. Schools should ensure that partnerships are nurtured within the context of strong educational objectives.

If the topic of a lesson is about a disability and a child in the classroom has that disability, it is important to discuss that lesson with the child, if appropriate, and his or her parents so that planning can be respectful and strengths-based in perspective.

Note to the Teacher

Several activities in this lesson involve the use of a therapy ball (exercise ball, Pilates ball, yoga ball.) If you do not have access to this type of ball in your school, where might you be able to locate a therapy ball to use for the lesson? They could be borrowed from your school’s physical education program, from the occupational therapist or physiotherapist assigned to the school, from a parent who has one, or from someone in the community. To teach variants on this lesson, other sensory tools that can be used by students including softballs, putty and elastic resistant bands.

Curriculum Document(s)/Grade

The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education, Interim Edition, 2010 (revised): Grade 3

The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Language, 2006 (revised): Grade 3

The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Mathematics, 2005 (revised): Grade 3

Curriculum

Curriculum Expectations

(as stated in the Ontario curriculum documents)

Language
ORAL COMMUNICATION:
By the end of Grade 3, students will:

  1. listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes.

WRITING:
By the end of Grade 3, students will:

  1. generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience;

Mathematics
MEASUREMENT
By the end of Grade 3, students will:

  • estimate, measure, and record length, perimeter, area, mass, capacity, time, and temperature, using standard units

DATA MANAGEMENT AND PROBABILITY:

By the end of Grade 3, students will:

  • collect and organize categorical or discrete primary data and display the data using charts and graphs, including vertical and horizontal bar graphs, with labels ordered appropriately along horizontal axes, as needed;

Health and Physical Education

LIVING SKILLS:
By the end of Grade 3, students will:

  • Demonstrate personal and interpersonal skills and the use of critical and creative thinking processes as they acquire knowledge and skills in connection with the expectations in the Active Living, Movement Competence, and Healthy Living strands for this grade.

ACTIVE LIVING:

By the end of Grade 3, students will:

A3. Demonstrate responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others as they participate in physical activities.

Instruction & Context

Instructional Components and Context

Learning Goals

Students and the teacher will work together to create Learning Goals in student-friendly language that are connected to the curriculum expectations. Co-created Learning Goals should be posted in the classroom for reference. Please see the Glossary in the Accessibility+ hub for more information.

Success Criteria

Success Criteria stating what the successful attainment of the Learning Goals would look like will be developed by the teacher and the class based on the curriculum expectations, the students’ ability to demonstrate knowledge of content, to use critical thinking processes, to make connections and to draw on personal knowledge or experience according to the nature of the activity. Co-created Success Criteria should be posted in the classroom for reference.
Please see the Glossary in the Accessibility+ hub for more information.

Differentiated Instruction and Assessment

Please refer to Learning for All: A Guide to Effective Assessment and Instruction for All Students, Kindergarten to Grade 12 for more information about differentiated instruction and assessment practices.

Readiness

Students need to have prior experience with:

  • listening to a story
  • discussing a story
  • journal writing
  • brainstorming
  • group discussion
  • co-creating Success Criteria
  • co-developing Learning Goals
  • sharing equipment
  • using measuring tapes to measure length in centimetres
  • using physical education equipment safely

Terminology

ability, acceptance, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), balance, body break, character, characteristic, core muscles, difference, eager, empathy, equipment, similarity, special, stable, therapy ball, elastic resistance band, putty, Venn diagram.

This terminology should be discussed and understood to help students meet the expectations of these lessons. These and other words that come up during the lesson should be posted in the classroom for reference.

Materials and Equipment

To teach this lesson as presented, you will need:

LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES

The book: Eager Eddy - The World’s Most Active Dude by Jill Bobula and Katherine Bobula, www.wildberryproductions.ca is from the Canadian series We Are Powerful, engaging children’s books about ability and disability from a strength perspective. Eager Eddy - The World’s Most Active Dude, along with the other books in the series, will soon be available as PDFs. Visit the publisher’s website for more information.

Eager Eddy book cover

Please see the Accessibility+ hub for other examples of appropriate children’s literature.

MATHEMATICS ACTIVITIES

Student Handout
string and other non-standard measurement tools
soft, pliable measuring tapes
graph paper
pencils
colouring pencils
stacking cubes
therapy balls – you will need at least one therapy ball on hand to demonstrate how you are measuring the students’ legs and how the therapy balls will be used instead of chairs.
Alternative materials such as elastic resistance bands, squeezable balls or putty, if you have decided to adapt the lesson so that you can use materials you have on hand

HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION ACTIVITY

Therapy balls (yoga balls, Pilates balls), in a variety of sizes. Two different sizes should be adequate for this age group (30cm and 45 cm.)

Where might you be able to locate a therapy ball to use for the lesson? These could be borrowed from the physical education resources, someone in the community or the occupational therapist or physiotherapist assigned to the school. To teach variants on this lesson, other sensory tools such as soft balls, putty and elastic resistant bands could be used by all students including students who have ADHD.

Note to the teacher: There are five possible activities in this lesson. Please use those that you believe will serve the needs of your class and complement your program.

Lesson

Activity #1:

Whole Group Brainstorm/Group Discussion/Charting of Ideas (Language)

This activity will reinforce the following Accessibility Awareness message:

  • Students need to help develop a classroom culture that fosters a sense of belonging for all students.

Minds On
Questions to activate prior knowledge:

What does it mean to be special? What makes you special? Is everybody special?

Action
The teacher, using probing questions if necessary, asks students to brainstorm what qualities or characteristics make individuals special. The brainstorm could begin with a pair-share discussion of the question with a partner. From brainstorming and/or discussion, the teacher and the students record the students’ ideas of what makes individuals special on the blackboard, whiteboard, interactive whiteboard, or flip-chart paper. This list will likely include a variety of ideas, including both visible and non-visible characteristics that make a person special. A second part of this activity could be a discussion of why it is important to make sure everyone feels welcome and important in the class.

The list will help all students keep track of various ideas and serve as a tool for accommodating the needs of students with a variety of accessibility issues, such as visual-recall difficulties or organizational challenges. Remind students that vocabulary from the brainstorm is posted in the classroom. Add terminology from the book or from discussion as necessary. Post the list for reference if needed by students when they are asked to complete an independent reflection and writing activity.

Assessment: Oral Communication
ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING: Do students have experience brainstorming? Are they able to contribute ideas in a group setting? Do students possess the prior knowledge necessary to do the tasks?

ASSESSMENT AS LEARNING: Do the students demonstrate an understanding of appropriate listening behaviour by using active listening strategies in order to contribute meaningfully and work constructively in groups? Are their responses appropriate for the discussion? Do the students demonstrate appropriate speaking behaviour in the group setting? Do certain students require support to complete the task? Do we need to review classroom rules about respect? Do the students identify personal characteristics of themselves? Does this student-generated list show both diversity and similarity amongst the students?

Activity #2:

Whole Group and Individual - Shared Reading and Personal Reflection Through Journal Writing (Language)

This activity will reinforce the following Accessibility Awareness message:

  • Every person has unique gifts to share and a contribution to make.

Minds On

The teacher begins this part of the lesson by reading the book Eager Eddy - The World’s Most Active Dude by Jill and Katherine Bobula aloud to the class using appropriate pre-reading, during reading and post-reading strategies to deepen understanding and help students connect the content to their personal experiences. (For more information on the read-aloud strategy, please see: Early Reading Strategy: The Report of the Expert Panel on Early Reading in Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Education 2003 (page 24).

Possible discussion questions: Why do you think Eddy is called the world’s most active dude? Why do you think Eddy says that his high level of energy is a very precious gift? What are some of the things about Eddy that make him “special and awesome”? Why do you think Eddy likes to move around so much? How is Eddy like all the other students in his class? How do you think Eddy feels when it is hard for him to sit still for a long time in school? Are there times when you feel like Eddy, perhaps on a rainy day when recess is cancelled? Can you empathize with Eddy when he really needs to move around? If you were Eddy, how would you want to be treated by your classmates?

Action

After having a group discussion and participating in the shared reading activity with the book Eager Eddy – The World’s Most Active Dude, which highlights the strengths and needs characteristic of a boy with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), give students time to reflect and record their thinking and learning in their journal.

Students write in their journal about what makes them special and how they feel about the story. Ideally, this reflection and writing activity will ignite students’ minds and remind them that differences simply make a person special, creating an atmosphere of acceptance and accessibility in the classroom.

Follow-up with a discussion about why it is important to make everyone feel welcome in the classroom. Allow the students to share their journal reflection with a partner, small group or the whole class.

Assessment: Writing

ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING: Are students able to listen to the book actively? Are they able to predict and/or infer elements of a story? Are students able to write a journal entry? Are they able to self-reflect? Do they demonstrate the necessary comprehension skills to understand the text and later extend that understanding in written form? Do they understand the concept of empathy?

ASSESSMENT AS LEARNING: Do students make connections between the text and their personal experiences? Do certain students need assistance? Do the students demonstrate the ability to listen to a story for meaning? Are they able to make inferences? Are they able to identify important characteristics of a person that make him/her special? Do they make personal connections to the character? Does their writing demonstrate the necessary conventions such as correct voice, form and organization? Are they able to establish a personal voice in their writing, with a focus on using concrete words and images to convey their attitudes or feelings? Do any students need assistance to complete the activity?

Activity #3:

Moving in Order to Learn Better (Mathematics – Data Management and Probability)

This activity will reinforce the following Accessibility Awareness messages:

  • Students need to help develop a classroom culture that fosters a sense of belonging for all students.
  • Students sometimes need special assistance, equipment or technology to learn.

Minds On

Everyone has a different way of working in class. When you have work to do in class, are you always able to concentrate? What do you find catches your attention sometimes? How do you work best? Do you like to work quietly by yourself? Do you like to work with a partner or with a group? What do you think a “body break” is? Do you like to take body breaks while you are working? Do you like to get up and move around sometimes? How does Eddy like to do his work?

Action

Draw a large Venn diagram with overlapping ovals on the board, interactive whiteboard or chart paper to facilitate the following activity. The outside sections of the Venn diagram will have the following titles: Prefer to Sit Quietly to Work and Prefer to Get Up and Move While Working. The overlapping section in the middle will be titled Sometimes I Need Quiet, Sometimes I Like to Move. In turn, ask students to put their names where they see themselves, depending on their preferred working environment. Ask the class where they think Eddy would put his name. Ask students what information the completed Venn diagram displays. The class will see that students prefer a variety of working conditions, and, like Eddy, some students prefer a working environment that incorporates a lot of movement (body break). Which section of the diagram contains the most names? The fewest?

Ask the class to suggest other ways the data could be represented and record their suggestions.

Assessment: Data Management and Probability

ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING: Do students understand the activity? Are they able to take turns? Have they had some experience reading graphs, charts and other visual representations of data?

ASSESSMENT AS LEARNING: Do students demonstrate an ability to organize objects into categories? Are students able to write their names in the appropriate section of the Venn diagram? Do certain students need assistance, probing questions or further explanation? Do they understand the three categories depicted in the Venn diagram? Are they able to interpret the data? Are they able to list other ways of recording the data?

Activity #4:

Measure Your Partner’s Legs (Mathematics - Measurement)

This activity will reinforce the following Accessibility Awareness message:

  • Students sometimes need special assistance, equipment or technology to learn.

Minds On

Introduce the therapy ball (or other available equipment as listed above) to students and ask if some students would like to try sitting on therapy balls instead of chairs for a few minutes. If possible, have at least two therapy balls of different sizes for demonstration purposes. Point out that therapy balls come in different sizes and need to fit people properly. Bring the therapy ball up to a student desk to replace a chair to demonstrate how and why the measurement is important. Invite a few students to investigate the therapy ball. What does it feel like? Is sitting on the therapy ball comfortable? Can the students feel that they are moving? Do they like how it feels?

Question: Sometimes students like Eddy concentrate on their school work better if they sit on a therapy ball instead of a chair. Why do you think sitting on a therapy ball might help a student learn? Can you think of other equipment that might help students learn better? (student brainstorm) If you were in Eddy’s classroom is there anything you could do to help Eddy concentrate better?

Action

Ask students to brainstorm ways to measure the length of a person’s leg when they are sitting on a therapy ball (string, links, etc.). What would you estimate the length of a classmate’s leg to be? What would you need in order to measure the leg accurately in standard units? What would be an appropriate standard unit for the length of a person’s leg? Record student ideas.

Explain that the Student Handout shows one way of measuring a person’s leg. Put partners in teams and give each pair a measuring tape. Distribute the Student Handout and go over the instructions with the group. Students follow the instructions on Student Handout to measure their legs and record their information . Students should complete the work in pairs in order to facilitate holding the measuring tape to get accurate measurement.

Extension or Alternative Lesson

Using an elastic resistance band, go through the same brainstorming and measurement steps to measure the length of a person’s leg using an elastic resistance band or the span of a person’s arms when they are stretching the band.

Assessment

ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING: Do students have some ideas about how they could measure a person’s leg while he/she is sitting on a therapy ball? Do students understand the activity? Are they able to work well with a partner? Are they able to take turns?

ASSESSMENT AS LEARNING: Are students able to brainstorm different ways to measure a person’s leg? Are they able to estimate the length? Do they know which standard units would be appropriate for this activity? Are students able to measure using a measuring tape? Do certain students need assistance using the tape measure? Do the students demonstrate the ability measure accurately? Do they include the unit of measurement in their answer?

Activity #5:

Therapy Balls are Good for Everyone (Health and Physical Education)

This lesson will reinforce the following Accessibility Awareness message:

  • What is necessary for some is good for all.

Minds On

Do you ever have problems concentrating on your work? Tell students that sitting on a therapy ball can help students like Eddy to concentrate better. Ask them if they can think of any other uses for a therapy ball. Would they like to sit on a therapy ball to see what it feels like?

Action

Ask students to buddy-up with a partner. Tell students that some of them (or all of them if time permits) will have a chance to sit on a therapy ball and then tell other students what it felt like. Some students will sit on the therapy ball and some will be spotters. Remind students that a spotter is there to ensure safety. Select students to model the activity before the other students try it. Remind students to sit up straight with their feet flat on the floor. Show them the 90-degree angle of your knees.

Suggest that the sitter put one hand on his/her mid-section to feel their core muscles. Discuss this term so students understand the concept of the core muscles. (See the Accessibility+ hub for more information.) After students have had a turn, ask them to describe how sitting on the ball felt. Did they feel like they were going to fall over? Did it take some time to become comfortable? Was it hard work to stay on the ball for that long? Did they need to move their feet to stay upright?

Inform students that many people use the therapy balls to help them exercise because therapy balls help a person to use their core muscles and this makes them stronger. Do you think sitting on a therapy ball would help you concentrate better? Do you think sitting on a therapy ball would help make your core muscles stronger?

Extension or Alternative Lesson

With an elastic resistance band, go through similar steps to give every child the experience of using it in order to understand how it might help strengthen muscles.

Assessment

ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING: Do students understand the activity? Do they understand the safety role of the spotter? Are they able to work well with a partner? Are they able to take turns? Are the therapy balls the right size for the students?

ASSESSMENT AS LEARNING: Are students able to suggest other uses for therapy balls? Are they able to manage their positions in order to sit on the balls without losing their balance? Do certain students need assistance? Are the spotters able to help the sitters, if necessary? Are the students able to describe the feeling of sitting on the ball? Do they communicate effectively? Do students demonstrate responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others as they participate in physical activities?

Consolidation

Did students demonstrate an understanding of the Big Ideas of Accessibility Awareness?

Using probing questions try to elicit key ideas related to the Accessibility Awareness statements for this unit:

  • Students need to help develop a classroom culture that fosters a sense of belonging for all students.
  • Every person has unique gifts to share and contributions to make.
  • Students need to learn about different disabilities and understand the challenges of living with a disability.
  • Students sometimes need special assistance, equipment or technology to learn.
  • What is necessary for some is good for all.

Invite students to share their thoughts about the lessons in this unit though discussion, writing or artistic means. Students could talk to a partner about what they learned, small groups could cooperatively list some of the words and ideas from the unit, or students could individually or collaboratively make a poster or a mural showing what an inclusive and accessible classroom would look like.

POSSIBLE GUIDING QUESTIONS:

What new words did you learn? What new ideas did you learn about? What did you learn about why you are special? Did you become more aware of your own learning needs? What did you learn about students who have learning needs different from yours? What did you learn about therapy balls (or other kinds of special equipment)? Are you excited to try sitting on the therapy balls in the classroom? What are therapy balls good for? What other kinds of assistance, equipment or technology do students sometimes need in order to learn? When a piece of equipment is good for different reasons for different people, this is called universal design. The therapy ball is an example of universal design because it can be helpful for different people for different reasons. Can you think of some other examples of universal design? (ramps for wheelchairs that are also helpful for parents with baby strollers; flexible straws that help young children drink but are also good for people in a hospital bed; students will likely come up with other ideas.) If students are having difficulty coming up with ideas, suggest some possibilities and ask why those are examples of universal design. Are there examples of universal design in our school or community?

Reflection

Teacher Reflection

  • Did the intended messages about accessibility and barriers come across in my lesson?
  • Did I incorporate student-friendly teaching strategies that support best practices for incorporating accessible methods and materials to reach as many students as possible?
  • Are the resources I selected appropriate for the grade level and varied to meet the needs of all my students? If the resources I selected presented aspects of accessibility awareness, was the perspective strength-based?
  • Did I use Differentiated Instruction and Assessment to meet the varying learning styles of my students? Was I able to meet and accommodate for all of my students’ learning needs?
  • Were all my students engaged at all steps of the lesson? How do I know?
  • Were my assessment procedures fair and equitable? Have I demonstrated best practices and met the individual needs of my students? Have I accommodated in fair and equitable ways for students with special learning needs to demonstrate their understanding? Did I provide opportunities for my students to reflect on their learning to improve their work? Were the students successful? How do I know?
  • How do I ensure that the concept of accessibility is not only discussed but embedded in all conversation topics taught in the classroom?
  • How could this lesson be improved in the future?
  • How can I improve my own teaching practice to better address accessibility awareness issues?
  • Was I able to make connections or forge partnerships with parents or members of the community as part of this unit?
  • How do I help promote accessibility awareness across my school and school board and share the results with parents and colleagues?

A POSSIBLE TEACHER “ACTION RESEARCH” PROJECT

Give therapy balls to the students in your class who are the most likely to ask permission to leave the room, sharpen their pencils often or use other ways to get up, leave the room or move around the classroom, as well as to a few of the other children in your class. Collect work samples from students before use of therapy balls in classroom, including handwriting samples. Over a few days, record the number of washroom, water fountain and pencil sharpening requests. Take note of the number of times you must stop to redirect students’ attention to task at hand. Revisit this information a few weeks after using therapy balls in the classroom. Have the numbers changed? Share your data with the students and ask them to come up with a hypothesis. Choose one or two issues to compare and graph the before and after results together using stacking cubes or on flip-chart paper or interactive white board. Have the students come up with ideas that might account for the change if there is one.
 

Appendices

Student Handout: Eager Eddy – The World’s Most Active Dude

Student #1: __ Student #2 ____

Measure Your Legs in Two Ways

REQUIRED MATERIALS:

  1. a partner
  2. a measuring tape
  3. a pencil to record your information

PROCEDURE:

  1. Have one partner sit on a chair, with their feet on the floor and their back straight.
  2. Place the measuring tape at your partner’s heel that is flat on the floor and measure their leg from the hip to the back of their knee (white arrow), then from the back of the knee to the floor (yellow arrow), then measure the length of the foot. Tell your partner what the length of these parts of their leg. Your partner should record this information on this sheet
    in centi- metres
  3. Repeat the process for the other partner. See the diagram for what you want to look like when you are sitting on a therapy ball.
  4. Add these three numbers for each person to give you the total length of the leg.
Student sitting on therapy ball

Student #1: ____

What is the total leg length when sitting on the ball? ___

Student #2 ____

What is the total leg length when sitting on the ball? ___