Saturday, 1 December 2007

I can..write!

Often, kids with physical disabilities do not have many opportunities to engage in writing activities.  There are many ways to adapt activities to allow active participation in writing. Here are some ideas to get your kids excited about writing: make a wish list for Santa or a birthday, write a journal or online blog, write a story about an imaginary place, write a funny poem, write an email to a friend, keep a Facebook page updated.

Here are some ideas for vocabulary your student might use when writing:
I want to write to….
Can you print this for me?
Let’s add a picture
I want to write more
Let’s send this in the mail.
I want to email
I want to write about...
Can you read it back to me?
This is a great story!
How do you spell…
What do you think of my work?
Let’s make a list
Can I check my email?
Let’s go to my Facebook page
Dear Santa,

Building A Story
  • Try using symbols to create simple stories with a beginning, middle and end. Give your students the opportunity to choose from a selection of story starters, plots and conclusions. Below are some examples to get you started. Based on your student’s reading ability, you can choose to use symbols or just text. See additional examples in the “I Can” resource package attached.
  • Try making multiple copies of the symbols/text. As a student makes a selection, provide them with a copy for them to paste on a paper. At the end, the student will have a hard copy of their story.

Story Starters
Story Plots
Story Conclusions
Once upon a time
a dragon breathed fire on all the land
and he was chased out of town and never seen again.
In a land far, far away
a princess found a frog
and everyone lived happily ever after.
One dark and stormy night
a monster was wandering the streets
and changed into a beautiful unicorn.
In the middle of stinky wet swamp,
a caterpillar ate a monstrous mushroom
and sailed away across the ocean.

Make a Big Book
Have your older students create simple patterned stories that are often used for young children.  Provide an opportunity for your student to share this book with younger students or show it off with their reading buddy. Below is a link to a book with reproducible patterns for making big books for younger kids.

No-Tech Ideas
  • Fill in the story – Write simple sentences. Encourage your students to make choices to fill in the blanks. E.g. Michael likes to ______. (Swim/Eat/Drink/Dance/Jump)
Light Tech Ideas
  • Try recording a story that your student has written onto a Step-by-Step™ communicator so that your student can re-tell the story to friends, family and others.
High Tech Ideas
  • Students need access to a wide variety of vocabulary for writing. Often students who use a speech-generating device have only one word to express an idea or concept, e.g. “happy”. Give them access to a large and rich vocabulary bank. For example, instead of saying “happy” your student may want to say “excited”, “thrilled”, “elated”, “jumping for joy”, “energized”.
  • Provide your student with vocabulary on their speech-generating device to allow them to meet their daily writing goals.
  • Students may use adaptive software programs such as Intellitools Classroom Suite, Clicker, or Writing with Symbols. Check out the manufacturer’s website for an extensive list of activities to download.
  • A selection of writing activities from the manufacturers websites related to winter and holidays are available to sign out. Please contact Gill Steckle or Kristel Pallant for a copy at 519-685-8700, ext 53413/53361 during the month of December 2007.
Activities to Download

- Activity Exchange by Intellitools

- Resources by Widgit (Writing with Symbols)
Resources for teachers and educators:
Need extra help with using adaptive software programs?