Lesson Plans

Grade 1: Realizing Differences

Grade 1: Realizing Differences

Lesson Summary

Students will learn about individual differences, special needs and special equipment while listening to and observing pictures in a read-aloud story about bears that are different from each other. Students will have the opportunity to respond orally to questions and share personal experiences. They will be able to respond to the story in a writing activity in which they will write about what makes each of them unique and complete a self-portrait to go with their written work.

Connections to Accessibility Awareness – The Big Ideas

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

  • Some students sometimes need special assistance, equipment or technology to learn.
  • Accessibility Awareness includes information about the range of ability and individual strengths found in the classroom.
  • Students need to help develop a school culture that fosters a sense of belonging for all students.

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 those with accessibility considerations 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 students with special education needs, the needs of English Language Learners. 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 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.