GENERAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM ADAPTATION PROJECT

OVERVIEW OF GENERAL EDUCATION COMPONENTS

SUMMARY OF UNIT

"Moving West" is a unit for 5th grade students from Pearson's curriculum series called myWorld Social Studies: Building Our Country. This unit which focuses on westward expansion comprised of 4 lessons: “Inventions, Roads, and Railroads”, “The Lone Star State”, “Trails to the West”, and “The California Gold Rush”. These lessons provide students with an overview of key elements that contributed to westward expansion. Students are exposed to major events and motivations that impacted settlers between a 20-year time span from the 1830s through 1850s.

OVERALL GOAL

The Big Question that students are trying to answer by the end of this lesson is: “What benefit or advantage were pioneers seeking when they moved west?”

OVERALL OUTCOMES

  • Changes in technology have costs and benefits
  • Technological advances can change how and where people live
  • Nations can gain or lose territory through war, treaties, and the movement of people
  • People move for economic, political, and social reasons
  • People may undergo personal hardships to obtain economic opportunity or personal freedom

CONNECTION TO STANDARDS

SS.G.1.5 Investigate how the cultural and environmental characteristics of places within the United States change over time.

SS.G.3.5 Analyze the effects of specific catastrophic and environmental events as well as technological developments that have impacted our nation and compare to other places.

SS.H.3.5 Explain probable causes and effects of events and developments in U.S. history.

W.5.6. Use technology for writing and collaborating.

MATERIALS & BARRIERS OF UNIT

MATERIALS

Student Worktext. This is the student’s social studies workbook. Each unit begins with a song or myStory video that introduces the main ideas that will be discussed in the unit. Students are also presented with a Big Question at the beginning of the unit that will be revisited throughout the unit. Each unit incorporates a real life story that relates to the lesson providing the basis for discussion. Lessons feature a variety of activities that provide students with an opportunity to interact with the material to apply their knowledge.

myStory Video DVD-ROM. myStory Videos are used throughout each unit and are used to help students work towards answering the Big Question of each chapter. Video icons within the student book indicate that a corresponding video is available.

Ready, Set, Teach Podcast. Teachers can listen to this podcast for suggestions for how to focus their instruction in a way that will support student understanding as they work towards answering the unit’s Big Question.

Teacher’s Guide. There is a “Plan with Understanding by Design” page for each unit. This page highlights concepts that students should be able to demonstrate by the end of the unit.

myStory Book. Students demonstrate their understanding of the content from each unit by writing and illustrating their own digital book. Students are given writing and image prompts to reflect on different ideas that have been presented throughout the unit. There is also a glossary that students can use to help them incorporate key vocabulary from the unit in their reflection.

myWorld Activity. These are activities that have been developed for a small group of students to complete together. Activities require students to transfer and apply information that has been presented during a lesson to new situations.

Digital Presentation. Students and teachers have access to digital presentations that have been created for each unit opener, lesson, skill lesson, and unit closing. If a classroom has a SMARTboard or interactive whiteboard, students can actively engage and participate with these presentations. Presentations are comprised of video, audio, and interactive experiences for students. There is a SupportPlus button at the bottom of each presentation which provides extra support for English language learners, challenge ideas, background notes, as well as additional questions that can be used to facilitate a class discussion.

BARRIERS

  • Students are expected to learn about multiple complex ideas and topics in each lesson rather than have each lesson focus on one main idea.
  • There is a substantial amount of reading and writing that is required. Students who have a hard time reading will become overwhelmed. Students who lack fine motor skills may struggle with writing and/or circling, underlining, matching, etc.
  • Difficult vocabulary
  • Expected to conduct research at various points throughout the lesson
  • A high level of comprehension is needed to understand the information presented throughout the unit.
  • Memorizing important dates, events, and people for the end of the unit summative assessment
OVERVIEW OF 3-LESSON LEARNING SEGMENT

LESSON 1

INVENTIONS, ROADS, AND RAILROADS

SS.G.3.5 Analyze the effects of specific catastrophic and environmental events as well as technological developments that have impacted our nation and compare to other places.

Explanation of Original Lesson

This lesson introduces students to new ideas and inventions that helped businesses profit. New roads, canals, and the invention of the steamboat provided a quick and cheap way for settlers and goods to move westward. Finally, students are taught that even though it building railroads were more expensive that the speed and cost to transport settlers and goods was extremely beneficial for moving west.

FEATURES OF ADAPTED LESSON

Vocational Skill

Student Helper: Responsible for adjusting the visual schedule at the end of each activity when prompted by the teacher and distributing an individual schedule with a marker to all of his or her peers.

Social Skill

Taking turns: Students will take turns placing their pictures on the anchor chart that says “inventions” or “transportation.”

Behavioral Skill

Follow along and listen to Social Story: The teacher reviews and discusses how students should act during small group instruction.

Modified Materials

  • Envelope with student names
  • Social story about expectations for group lesson
  • Emotions visual
  • Visual schedule of the lesson for each student
  • Individual schedules of the lesson for each student
  • Laptop/projector
  • Sorting board-large board with “Good Reasons” (green side) and “Bad Reasons” (red side) written on the top of each column and strips of velcro to place pictures on.
  • Sorting board pictures
  • Powerpoint with pictures from history.com
  • Copies of PowerPoint slides for students (Distributed based on student need)
  • Pictures of inventions and types of transportation
  • Anchor Charts (Transportation, Inventions)
  • Lorax videos: video one, video two, video three
  • iPad/ edulastic app
  • Graphic organizer for guided practice activity
  • Graphic organizer for independent practice activity
  • Markers
  • Laminated T-Chart with strips of velcro. One side of the T-chart will say “Invention” and one side of the T-chart will say “Transportation.”
  • Laminated pictures of inventions and types of transportation with velcro

High-Tech UDL Components

  • PowerPoint for used during Explicit Instruction
  • YouTube Videos used during Guided and Independent Practice
  • iPad app Edulastic used for assessment

Examples of Self-Determination

Example One: Choice-Making. Students may choose to sort pictures of inventions and types of transportation into their proper category by using an assessment that has been created on an iPad app called edulastic or by completing a handout that will them to cut, paste, and glue.

Justification."Provide two or three learning activity options and allow students to make a choice based on their preferences. As students become more proficient with making choices, they can be given more options to choose from." (Cabeza et al, 2013, pg. 3)

Example Two: Self-Management. At the beginning of the lesson the teacher provided instructions to the students to cross activities off from their schedule when they see “Johnny” (student helper) removing the activity that was just completed from the visual schedule displayed on the front board.

Justification. Teachers should find a way to incorporate ways for students to become more active participants in daily routines. (Haager, Dimino, Windmueller, 2014, p. 313) During this lesson students are being taught how to follow a schedule which is a key component in our daily routines.

Example Three: Self-Awareness. Students are expected to identify how they feel using and emotions visual for support.

.Justification.

"Research shows that students need to develop social and emotional intelligence to be successful in life"(Cabeza et al, 2013).

LESSON 2

TRAILS TO THE WEST

SS.G.1.5 Investigate how the cultural and environmental characteristics of places within the United States change over time.

Explanation of Original Lesson

This lesson teaches students that thousands of settlers traveled westward in covered wagons during the 1840s. The Oregon, Mormon, and California Trails were instrumental for pioneers ability to cross the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. In addition to learning about how settlers moved west with their families, this lesson teaches students that traders moved cargo by using the Santa Fe and Old Spanish Trails.

FEATURES OF ADAPTED LESSON

Vocational Skill

Using a Map: Students will use a map to complete Oregon Trail Simulation.

Social Skill

Working Together: Students will work in pairs to complete Oregon Trail Simulation.

Behavioral Skill

Follow along and listen to Social Story: The teacher reviews and discusses how students should act during small group instruction.

Modified Materials

  • Visual schedule of the lesson
  • Social story about expectations for group lesson
  • Laptop/projector
  • Sorting board-large board with “Good Reasons” (green side) and “Bad Reasons” (red side) written on the top of each column and strips of velcro to place pictures on.
  • Sorting board pictures
  • Core vocabulary board
  • Word bank with and without pictures (The same word bank will be used for the independent practice activity and formative assessment)
  • Postcards
  • iPad
  • Lifecard app
  • Art supplies (markers, glue, stickers, construction paper, etc.)
  • Three maps
  • Envelopes
  • Questions to put in envelopes for Oregon Trail simulation
  • Sentence frames
  • Camera/iPhone with camera
  • Whiteboard
  • Stories2Learn app
  • PowerPoint for vocabulary
  • Individual vocabulary books

High-Tech UDL Component

  • Interactive video from curriculum series
  • PowerPoint use during Explicit Instruction
  • iPad app Stories2Learn used during independent practice
  • iPad app Lifecard used for assessment

Examples of Self-Determination

Example one: Self-Knowledge. The teacher will ask the students if they have ever wanted to leave their home or their community-- “Why did you want to move?” “Why didn’t you want to move?”.

Justification."Encourage students to advocate for their own preferences, desires, or opinions when appropriate... if a student has a different opinion than the rest of the class, encourage him to speak his mind" (Cabeza et al, 2013, p. 7).

Example Two: Choice-Making. Students may choose to create their postcard with markers, glue, construction paper, pictures-or they may use their iPad to create a virtual postcard using an app called Lifecards.

Justification. "Giving students the opportunity to make choices enables them to develop skills of demonstrating control and responsibility in their environment" (Cabeza et al, 2013, p. 3).

Example Three: Decision Making. Student are expected to work together to read their map and decide what route they should take during an Oregon Trail Simulation.

Justification."Invite students to work together on a specific project or toward a common goal. Create an atmosphere in which a true “community of learners” is facilitated and enhanced"(How to accommodate and modify special education students in todays educational world, n.d. p. 14).

LESSON 3

THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH

Explanation of Original Lesson

In this lesson, students spend time learning about how the discovery of gold in California in 1848 resulted in a huge gold rush. In order to find gold, Miners used pans, sluices, picks and other tools. During the gold rush many entrepreneurs profited from selling goods and services to miners. The final aspect learners learn about is that in 1850 California became a state because of rise in its population as a result of the gold rush.

FEATURES OF ADAPTED LESSON

Vocational Skill

Following Directions: One of the students to distribute a cause and effect handout to each of their classmates.

Social Skill

Greeting: Students will say hello to one of their friends at the beginning of the lesson.

Behavioral Skill

Follow along and listen to Social Story: The teacher reviews and discusses how students should act during small group instruction.

Modified Materials

  • Visual schedule of the lesson
  • Social story about expectations for group lesson
  • Plastic shoebox with dirt and a rock that has been spray-painted gold
  • Wet wipes
  • iPad
  • Core vocabulary board
  • iPad app: Talking Picture Board
  • Sentence starters
  • PowerPoint with slides that will be used during explicit instruction.
  • YouTube Video: Cause and Effect (1:41)
  • YouTube Video: Animaniacs-Gold Rush (1:10-8:10)
  • Cause and effect handout

High-Tech UDL Component

  • YouTube Videos
  • iPad App
  • PowerPoint

Examples of Self-Determination

Example One: Self-Regulation. The teacher will tell her students that she would like the dirt to stay inside of the box, but if they find anything else inside they may take it out. She will remind students that we do not put things in our mouth that are not food.

Justification. Provide clear expectations of behavior, tell student what you expect of them by using visual aids, photographs or video models(Autism Speaks, 2012, p.43).

Example Two: Decision-Making. The teacher will ask the students what they would do if they heard that someone had found lots and lots of money that was buried at a playground by their house.

Justification. Planning and organizing perceptions, thoughts, intentions and actions and sequencing actions can be difficult for students with autism(MacKanzie & Jaques, n.d.) Therefore, it is important to expose these students to opportunities that require them to practice these skills.

Example Three: Problem-Solving.While watching a cartoon about the gold rush, students are asked to identify a cause and its effect.

Justification. It is important for students with autism to understand cause and effect relationships because it provides them with the ability to recognize that his or her behavior can have a clear outcome. Students who do not have cause and effect reasoning cannot request actions or objects from others which is one of the earliest communicative acts required by typical children (Quill, 1995, p.78).

RATIONALE FOR ADAPTATIONS

STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS

This unit has been adapted for classroom of students with a primary diagnosis of autism. Therefore the learning characteristics can vary from one student to the next. Below I have listed some general learning characteristics that I tried to consider as I adapted my three lessons.

  • May not pick up on traditional social cues. Therefore it is important to incorporate opportunities to develop social skills throughout their daily routine.
  • Limit the amount of choices students receive to remove any chance for confusion.
  • Require structure, clear directions, and should always understand what is expected of them. Providing students with a visual schedule would be useful.
  • If there is going to be a change in routine or activity, students will be most successful if they are given a warning ahead of time. Change can be a difficult concept.
  • Multi-sensory activities are very important for student engagement, motivation, and understanding.
  • Incorporating movement into lessons will prevent students from needing to leave instruction to seek out a movement break elsewhere.
  • Considerations should be made to support students with a variety of language and communication needs.
  • Explicit instruction paired with visuals and manipulatives is extremely important. Simple language and simple sentence structure should always be used when providing students with instructions or a direction.
  • Many students have difficulty with receptive and/or expressive language.
  • Difficulty understanding concepts and applying abstract reasoning.
  • Because of impairments with social cognition it may be difficult to understand the feelings of others.
  • Struggle to plan, organize, and solve problems.
  • Students behavior may impact their ability to participate and attend to instruction.

RATIONALE BEHIND ADAPTATIONS

MODIFIED MATERIAL

This is the cause-and-effect handout that would be used in lesson three. The handout requires students to listen or read the sentences listed in the first column (CAUSE) and place the the corresponding effect in the second column next to its match (EFFECT). A question that could be used to help students who may need additional support has also been provided.

The first three questions will be used during Guided Practice.
The final three questions will be used during Independent Practice.
These are the six effects that correspond with the causes listed above. For the sake of time, this page will be precut for students. Student ability level will determine the number of items that will be presented for each question.
RESOURCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY

RESOURCES

Some of the resources below require a subscription. Because the majority of the schools that I have spent time in have a subscription to these websites, I have been fortunate enough to have access to all of the resources that have been listed below.

WEBSITES WITH ACTIVITES

Flocabulary: The Industrial Revolution

PBS Learning Media: The Industrial Revolution in the United States

Flocabulary: Gold Rush

BrainPop: Westward Expansion

Interactive Sites for Education: Westward Expansion

PBS Learning Media: Westward Expansion

VIDEOS

YouTube: Charlie Brown: Transcontinental Railroad

YouTube: Westward Expansion: The Homestead Act of 1862 & The Frontier Thesis

IMAGES

Smithsonian: Over 300 images of the Westward Expansion

BOOKS

How to Get Rich on the Oregon Trail

By: Tod Olson

A Pioneer Sampler: Daily Life of a Pioneer Family 1840

By: Barbara Greenwood

Daily Life in a Covered Wagon

By: Paul Erickson

Going West! Journey on a Wagon Train to Settle a Frontier Town

By: Carol Johmann

Rachel's Journal

By: Marissa Moss

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Autism Speaks. (2012). What are the positive strategies for supporting behavior improvement? Retrieved from http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/section_5.pdf

Cabeza, B., Magill, L., Jenkins, A., Carter, E. W., Greiner, S., Bell, L., & Lane, K. L. (2013). Promoting self-determination among students with disabilities: A guide for Tennessee educators. Retrieved from https://vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/assets/files/resources/psiSelfdetermination.pdf

Clayton, J., Burdge, M., Denham, A., Kleinert, H. L., & Kearns, J. (2006). A four-step process for accessing the general curriculum for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 38(5), 20-27.

Haager, D., Dimino, J. A., & Windmueller, M. P. (2014). Interventions for reading success. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.

History.com (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from http://www.history.com/topics/industrial-revolution/pictures

Industrial revolution lesson plan using the lorax by Dr. Seuss. (2012). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from http://www.brighthubeducation.com/middle-school-history-lessons/38992-teaching-the-industrial-revolution-with-dr-seuss/

MacKenzie, H. & Jaques, J. (n.d). Optimize learning in children with autism by teaching self-regulation skills. [PowerPoint]. Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/Events/convention/handouts/2011/MacKenzie-Jaques/

Mecklenburg County Public Schools. (n.d). How to accommodate and modify special education students in todays educational world! Retrieved from: http://mcpsweb.org/wp-content/uploads/STRATEGIES-HANDBOOK.pdf

Miller, A. (2013). Bringing authenticity to the classroom. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/bringing-authenticity-to-the-classroom-andrew-miller

Quill, K. A. (1995). Teaching children with autism: Strategies to enhance communication and socialization. New York: Delmar Publishers.

Uncover the path to success for every student. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from https://www.edulastic.com/

Wilson, P. D. (2014). Move your body, grow your brain. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/move-body-grow-brain-donna-wilson

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