Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Deaf Awareness Week

Next week (May 7-13) will be Deaf Awareness week in the UK. I received an email today about the launch of an online platform for students and teachers to learn more about communication with deaf people, particularly teenagers: "Look, Smile, Chat" aims to improve understanding and communication between deaf and hearing teens. I thought it would be an excellent topic to explore with my 8th grade students. Tomorrow morning, I will use parts of the lesson plan (available for free download here) to get students talking about and recognizing the steps everyone can take to improve communication with deaf people. The website has several videos which would also be very interesting to use as discussion starters for students of any age.

Because we don't have have access to a multimedia projector in the classroom, I printed worksheets out for students to complete in pairs with the "Mythbusters" section on deafness and an unlabeled diagram of the human ear. After working on the worksheets in pairs I will have students try to lipread short statements read silently by their partner. After that I will ask some of the pairs to act out everyday communication tasks, such as simple questions and praise, in front of the class without speaking to see how easily we can understand them without words. I also printed out four posters with tips about communication, and we will discuss these as a class, including how we can incorporate each of them into our everyday communication with others.

I am really excited about using these resources in the classroom and very thankful to the NDCS for making them available!

1 comment:

  1. After doing this lesson with two classes, I would suggest doing a short vocabulary lesson to warm up, as there were some terms my 8th graders didn't know (such as hearing aid, sign language, cochlear implant, etc). Also, the lipreading exercise didn't go very well- I think that the charades activity is more fun.