Lesson Guide


This Lesson Guide is intended to help teachers and other adults working in classrooms with students to get the most from the model lesson plans. These plans are meant to demonstrate ways that Accessibility Awareness can be built into lessons to meet curriculum expectations while increasing awareness of accessibility issues and attitudinal barriers. They are designed to offer flexibility:

  • The plans can be implemented “as is”
  • Sections of the lessons can serve as stand-alone learning activities
  • The plans can also provide a template for teachers who wish to create their own lesson plans to suit their students and the topics they are covering

Lesson planning should always reflect and address the interests, skills, learning styles and needs of students in the class.


What to Look For in the Lesson Plans

  • Every plan begins with a summary that will give you an overview of the content and, in most cases, the skills that will be developed.
  • Accessibility Awareness messages are clearly stated as the Big Ideas of the lessons.
  • Considerations for Program Planning and Community Connections will assist educators to teach Accessibility Awareness in an effective and inclusive way.
  • Overall curriculum expectations taken directly from Ontario curriculum documents are listed for each lesson or unit.
  • The Instructional Components and Context section includes general information about the co–creation of Learning Goals and Success Criteria, as well as reference to differentiated instruction and assessment.
  • The Readiness, Terminology and Materials and Equipment sections are specific to the particular lesson or unit.
  • Lesson plans follow a three-part format: Minds On, Action and Consolidation.
  • There are suggestions for Assessment for Learning and Assessment as Learning for each lesson.
  • Every lesson ends with a section called Teacher Reflection, intended to help teachers and other classroom-based staff improve the ways they embed Accessibility Awareness into the classroom culture, learning activities and conversations, and how they can advocate for Accessibility Awareness with their colleagues and members of the community.

A Note about Assessment

Learning for All: A Guide to Effective Assessment and Instruction for All Students, Kindergarten to Grade 12 emphasizes that effective planning of assessment and instruction begins with knowing the students and considering their strengths and needs. Teachers are encouraged to select or create assessment strategies that are appropriate for their students, since these lessons were written with typical but imaginary classes in mind. Assessment of Learning suggestions are not included in the lessons in this package since the lessons are not intended to be summative. Please see Learning for All: A Guide to Effective Assessment and Instructions for All Students, Kindergarten to Grade 12 and Growing success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools, First Editions, Covering Grades 1 – 12, 2010 for more information.

Resources that Support the Lessons

Many of the lessons are based on Canadian children’s or young adult books that look at ability and disability from a strength-based perspective. Others refer to film clips from the National Film Board of Canada. Resources from the National Film Board of Canada are available to all Ontario schools at no cost. In some lessons, specific equipment, materials or books are suggested. However, lessons can easily be adapted to use the equipment, materials and books that teachers have in their classrooms, schools or communities.

There is an extensive list of useful websites, children’s literature, teachers’ resources, community organizations and other useful sources of information related to the lessons in the Accessibility+ hub of the website.


A Description of the Lesson Plans

Lessons for English Language Schools

JK/SK/Early Years: Realizing Differences
In this lesson, a balance of exploration or investigation, guided instruction, and explicit instruction will offer children many opportunities to explore and investigate the topic of difference as an element of accessibility awareness. Students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and make observations and comparisons about their own characteristics that make them unique or special.

Grade 1: Realizing Differences
In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to learn about individual differences, special needs and special equipment while sharing personal experiences and responding to children’s books.

Grade 3: Eager Eddy: The World’s Most Active Dude
This unit includes five lessons that address curriculum expectations from three curricula: Language Arts, Mathematics and Health and Physical Education. Using a children’s book about a boy named Eddy as a spring board, students will explore concepts of empathy, self-identity, equity, inclusion, learning needs, and Universal Design from a strengths perspective.

Grade 6: Wheels in Motion
The focus of this mini-unit is accessibility for people who use wheelchairs. Students will learn about wheelchairs, their value as mobility aids and some of the accessibility barriers that people in wheelchairs face. They will discuss some concepts of Universal Design while assuming the perspective of an advocate for accessibility. They will learn about Canada’s important contribution to the development of the electric wheelchair. Using scientific inquiry and experimentation skills, they will try to design a wheelchair incorporating an electric circuit.

Grade 8: Smell the letters, feel the sounds, hear the colours
Synesthesia is an invisible disability which presents its own set of ‘invisible’ gifts and challenges. In this lesson, students will come to understand the challenges and gifts experienced by people with synaesthesia. They will have opportunities to develop a different outlook on their perspectives of persons with disabilities through planning and creating a piece of artwork using scented paints.

Grades 9/10 ENG1D: An Interview with the Lieutenant Governor
This lesson is based on an interview between the Lieutenant Governor and a Student Trustee and address media studies expectations from the Grade 9/10 English curriculum. Using a variety of skills, the students will explore the importance of accessibility awareness. They will analyze the accessibility of their own school and then discuss ways to make it better. Finally, at the discretion of the teacher, students will compare this video with one conducted by television personality Rick Mercer.

Grade 12 ENG4U: Spirit of Belonging – Jean Vanier’s Philosophy Revisited
Using Jean Vanier’s philosophy of being as a spring board for discussion, students will explore attitudinal barriers and their own sense of inclusion and belonging, and, then critically explore their environment and community. This lesson is suitable for Grades 11 and 12.

Grade 12 HRE4M: Jean Vanier’s Philosophy of Belonging
This unit addresses curriculum expectations from the Ontario Catholic Secondary Curriculum Policy Document (Revised) 2006. Students will learn to appreciate their own and others’ worth. Students will make connections to the teachings of the church while learning to recognize attitudinal barriers and steps to address them.

Grades 4 - 6 Core French: Nous sommes tous différents!
Reconnaître et accepter les différences est une étape importante dans la vie des jeunes. Ils doivent apprendre à accepter et à célébrer ces différences sans oublier leur propre identité. En lisant et en discutant des livres « Je t’accepte tel que tu es » et « Différent, c’est simplement différent! », l’élève sera sensibilisé à la tolérance et à l’acceptation des personnes ayant des handicaps. L’idée principale de cette leçon est de créer un climat d’inclusion dans la classe.

Grade 2 French Immersion: Nous sommes tous différents!
En 2e année, le curriculum souligne qu’il faut offrir à l’élève de nombreuses occasions de répondre oralement en français. Donc, en lisant et en discutant le livre « Meringuette la petite cane », on encouragera l’élève à parler de la tolérance et de l’acceptation des personnes ayant des handicaps. L’idée directrice de cette leçon est de créer un climat d’inclusion dans la classe. La discussion va amener l’élève à adopter l’idée que chaque personne est différente des autres et qu’il faut apprendre à respecter ces différences.

Grade 3 French Immersion: Dans la peau de…
Instructif, amusant et en lien avec la vie des élèves ! La leçon Dans la peau de… permet de travailler les habiletés de lecture et de communication avec les élèves mais surtout, cette leçon se présente comme une opportunité de discussions authentique avec eux : Qui sont les gens qui ont des besoins particuliers dans leur entourage? Quels sont ces besoins? Comment les aider? L’activité en art dramatique intégrée à cette leçon permettra aussi aux élèves de s’amuser tout en trouvant des solutions à différentes situations sociales qui peuvent parfois leur poser problèmes.

Grade 6 French Immersion: La vie d’Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein: un génie connu par le monde! Or, sa vie n’a pas été toujours facile, puisqu’il était dyslexique, un trouble peu connu à son époque. En lisant des biographies de personnalités connues qui ont des handicaps visibles et non-visibles, l’élève réalisera comment tout le monde peut fonctionner au meilleur de ses capacités. De plus, l’élève pourra consolider les acquis de cette leçon grâce à une activité artistique et un projet de poésie proposés en fin de leçon.

Grade 8 French Immersion: Les droits de la personne
À travers les activités proposées dans ces leçons, l’élève comprendra l’importance des droits de la personne afin d’être sensibilisé à l’accessibilité, et ce tout en développant la tolérance et l’acceptation. L’élève analysera et comparera les écrits sur les droits de l’homme : la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés, la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme, la Convention des droits de la personne handicapée ainsi que la Déclaration des droits de l’enfant. L’idée principale de ces leçons étant de trouver des solutions aux situations qui pourraient être embarrassantes pour une personne ayant un handicap et de discuter des différentes façons possibles de préconiser les droits de cette même personne.

Grade 9/10 French Immersion: Comment puis-je vous aider?
Dans le cadre des différentes lois ontariennes qui régissent les normes du travail, l’élève se familiarisera avec la Loi de 2005 sur l’accessibilité pour les personnes handicapées de l’Ontario et apprendra à interagir de façon positive avec les personnes qui ont des handicaps. Par l’intermédiaire de questionnaires, de présentations vidéo et de jeux de rôles, l’élève connaîtra davantage les enjeux auxquels les personnes handicapées doivent faire face dans leur milieu de travail afin qu’il puisse apprendre à servir tous leurs «futurs clients» de façon respectueuse!