Special Education Teacher Resources
Find Special Education educational ideas and activities
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Special Education Poetry Idea
Use this simple activity to introduce poetry to your junior high or high school Special Education class. Learners take turns writing lines that rhyme with a word you assigned. After all the sentences are written, they arrange them to create an original rhyming poem. This activity is great for special-needs individuals functioning at a 5th or 6th grade level.
Special Education Lesson: Counting by Jumping Squares
Get your kids counting and moving with this fun activity. Special-needs students practice counting objects up to 7, count using a numberline, and focus on recognizing the number before and after. This mini lesson finishes with a kinesthetic twist, where learners jump from block to block as they count aloud.
Earth Day Jeopardy for Special Ed grades 3-12
Get your special-needs learners all set for Earth Day! Use these developmentally appropriate questions and answers related to Earth Day concepts, which include recycling, conservation, pollution, and ecology. Note: Check out LessonPlanet's collection of Jeopardy Style PowerPoint games and activities. Use one as is or modify to fit your next Earth Day themed lesson.
Special Ed Lesson: Rain Cloud Activity
What is rain and where does it come from? Help your special-needs class understand the weather concepts of rain, clouds, and the water cycle with this introductory activity. They view a PowerPoint video (not included), answer questions about what they saw, engage in a group discussion about weather, and make a rain cloud model using construction paper and yarn. Appropriate for students with mild to moderate disabilities in grades 1-5.
HIV/AIDS & Other STDs, Day 3: HIV/AIDS
Students examine the characteristics of HIV and AIDS. They identify the liquids in which the disease is found and how it can be transmitted. They examine healthy behaviors to keep them from getting the disease.
Language Arts: Inclusion and Writing Skills
Pupils, in special education and inclusion classes, practice writing skills by sharing notes with the teacher and each other. Using instruction sheets, they substitute words and rewrite the selection in a way they understand. In individual instruction sessions, students develop vocabulary comprehension skills and practice writing for clarity.
Acquaintances & Strangers
Students define helpers, acquaintances, and strangers. They label the characters on a worksheet using the appropriate term and show the proper behaviors to exhibit when approached by a stranger.
Understanding and Supporting Our Peers with Cognitive Challenges
Students explore different federal laws promoting the education for the handicapped. In this literacy lesson, students brainstorm how they can help individual with Down syndrome. They read a fiction book related to the topic and discuss their thoughts about it.
Big Book Project
The "Big Book Project" provides special-needs learners with the opportunity to develop, write, and publish "Big Books" for Kindergarten-Grade 3 classrooms. Students also go to classrooms and read the book they wrote to the younger students.
Pairing Up: The Importance of Peer Partners
Encourage relationships between classmates with varying academic and social needs.
Reproduction, Day 4: Sexual Decision-Making
Every human has the need for affection. This instructional activity teaches mild to moderately disabled secondary students to make good choices regarding sexual contact. The instructional activity is developmentally and age appropriate and covers topics such as sexual expression, private parts, privacy, and decision-making. This instructional activity may not be suitable for minors conserved over their person, consent may be required.
Teaching Reading Comprehension through Social Studies Readings
Examine how immigrants have changed the environment of the United States. Individually, middle schoolers will take a pre- and post-test to assess their reading comprehension. In groups, they compare and contrast the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam while they practice reading a page aloud to the class. To end the lesson, they analyze graphs and research the contributions of immigrants to the nation as a whole. Resource links are included.
Fourth graders analyze a picture of a colonial New England kitchen. In this colonial life lesson students view a portion of the picture at a time and analyze each portion. Students reflect on customs and aspects of Colonial Life.
Sort It Out - Revolutionary: Causes, heroes and Propaganda
Sixth graders review primary documents and sort them into events in the Revolutionary War. In this American Independence instructional activity, 6th graders sort out photos to find causes and results of the American Revolution.
The Evil Eye of the Storm
Young scholars create a storm to develop an understanding of hurricanes. Learners explain reasons behind hurricane trends; identify the 5 categories of intensity using the Saffir-Simpson scale; interpret weather maps, and understand disaster safety.
The 6th Dimension
What are the six traits of writing anyway? Young writers focus on ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions to assess additions to their writing portfolio. They will create and add to a writing portfolio over a predetermined amount of time. There are ideas to help you focus on teaching each of the six writing conventions. Kids will love sharing their portfolios upon completion!
Focus of Native American Religious Practices
Here are five quick lessons you can use to introduce your class to religions from around the world. They view and perform a Native American dance, watch a video on Judaism, compare the difference between Catholics and Protestants, watch a video on Eastern religion, and participate in a simulated hajj. Note:These lessons are very simplistic and not fully developed.
Students utilize simulation methods and other teaching strategies within elementary-level social studies classrooms. They identify methods of delivering social studies content that enables learners with special needs to learn from and fully participate in the classroom experience.
Contributions of Famous Americans: Thurgood Marshall
Third graders investigate a mysterious famous American. In this Thurgood Marshall lesson, 3rd graders analyze primary sources available from the Library of Congress featuring Marshall and conduct further research to determine who the mystery American is and what his accomplishments were. Analysis of best practices and technology integration articles are included to further support the teacher of this lesson.
New! Disability Awareness Activity Packet
When you have an inclusive classroom it is important to help your general education students understand their peers with disabilities. This packet provides information and activities to assist elementary-aged children in building a better grasp of what life is like for children with disabilities. Each activity and related worksheet focuses on one of several common disabilities seen in the educational community. Autism, learning disabilities, communication disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment, and intellectual disabilities are all discussed.