ALIKE AND DIFFERENT
Teacher of lesson: Megan Matthys
Lesson Topic/Subject: Blindness/Social Studies
Grade Level: Kindergarten
Estimated Time: 30 minutes

BLIND WALK

OBJECTIVES:

MATERIALS:

PROCEDURES:

Introduction /Anticipatory Set

  1. Have students come meet on the carpet and assign everyone a partner.
  2. Tell the students that they have learned a lot about why their senses are important to them, now you want them to experience what it might be like to be without one of their senses. Explain that everyone is going to have a chance to see what it feels like to be blind.
  3. Inform the students that they will be going on a blind walk. Tell them that you are going to pass out blind folds, one to each set of partners, after you are through giving the directions
  4. Now, tell the students that one partner will be the guide while the other partner wears the blindfold. It is very important that the guides keep their partners safe. They must tell them when steps are coming and they absolutely cannot allow them to bump into anything.
  5. Explain to the guides that their job is to lead their blind partners outside to the playground, where they will choose three things for their partners to try to identify using their other senses besides their sight. Ask the students to quickly review what these other senses will be.
  6. Tell the students that you will blow a whistle after 10 minutes and then the partners should switch jobs so that everyone has the chance to be blind.
  7. Explain that when the students are blindfolded, you want them to pay close attention to what is going on around them. What kinds of sounds do they hear when they are outside. What do different areas of the playground feel like under their feet.
  8. Ask the partners to decide who will want to be blind first. Distribute the blind folds to the appropriate partner.

Sequence of Instruction

  1. Tell the students to help each other put on their blindfolds. Then ask the guides to lead their partners carefully to the line. Before leading the students outside, explain that if they can still see under their blindfold, they should close their eyes, because you really want them to have a chance to see how it feels to be blind.
  2. Allow the students to lead their partners around on the playground for about 10 minutes. Suggest to them that they take their partners to all different areas, on the grass, on the blacktop, and on the play equipment.
  3. Remind the students that the guides need to find three things for their blind partner to identify.
  4. After 10 minutes, blow the whistle and ask everyone to switch their blindfolds.
  5. Allow the students to roam around for 10 more minutes, and then blow the whistle again, signaling all of the guides to lead their partners into line. Tell the students to leave their blindfolds on until they get back to the classroom.

Closure

  1. Group the students at the carpet once again and collect the blindfolds. Begin a discussion about their blind walk. How did it feel to not be able to see? What kinds of sounds did they notice outside. Could they tell what part of the playground they were on by the way the ground felt under their feet? Were they able to correctly identify the objects their guides gave them? What senses did they use to identify the objects?
  2. After exhausting all of the student comments about their blind walk, explain to them that they are going to have a visitor come and talk to them tomorrow that is actually blind and uses a seeing eye dog to help her get around. Tell the students that you are excited that they are going to learn more about what it is like to be blind by listening to her and by asking her some good questions.
  3. Prepare the students for the visit by asking them if they can think of some questions they would like to ask the blind woman ahead of time. You can write down the questions as they think of them on a piece of chart paper.
  4. After the students are done volunteering different questions they would like to know more about, read over the list you have made out loud to the students, and then ask them to try to read it along with you once again.

EVIDENCE OF STUDENTS ACHIEVING OBJECTIVES:

  1. Students will gain insight on what it would be like to be without their sense of sight by keeping their blindfolds on and cooperatively going on a blind walk with a guide for 10 minutes.
  2. Students will demonstrate that they can be good guides by safely guiding their blind partners around the playground.
  3. Students will demonstrate that they can use their other senses other than sight by identifying three unknown objects without using their eyes, and then discussing what they discovered with the class.
  4. Students will express what they learned on their blind walk by discussing what it felt like to not be able to see and by discussing what other senses they used.
  5. Students will become prepared for their visitor by thinking of several questions that they think they would like to know more about in order to help them learn what it must be like to be blind, and how a blind person gets around.

ADAPTATIONS/RETEACHING IDEAS:

  1. A lot of prompting might be necessary when thinking of questions for the blind visitor. Prompt the students to ask questions that might help them learn how blind people get around on their own and do daily chores. Also arouse their interests to ask the visitor about her favorite hobbies so they can discover if blind people enjoy doing some of the same things they do.

EXTENSIONS:

  1. This activity might be a good one to refer back to and write a short class story about.
  2. Explain to students that many blind people donÕt need a person to guide them because they use a cane which they move back and forth in front of them. Allow the students to take turns throughout the day trying to get around the room with their eyes closed using a cane.

REFLECTIONS:

  1. Did this turn out to be a safe lesson? Were the students good guides?
  2. Was the lesson run efficiently?
  3. How did the students respond to the lesson?
  4. Were the students adequately prepared for the visitor?


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