Tuesday, 1 January 2008

I can...perform!

Lights, camera, action…kids love to perform! There are many ways for kids with disabilities to get involved in singing, dancing and acting opportunities at school.

Here are some ideas for vocabulary for your student when performing:
Let’s sing…
I want to wear….for a costume
I want to be….character
From the top!
Sing it louder!
Please help me move (stage left/right)
One more time
Take a bow
No autographs please
Let’s listen to music
Break a leg
I want to play….instrument
Was I good?

  • Kids can participate by making choices between songs or even choosing which verse will be next. 
  • Song boards provide visual support through symbols and pictures.  This allows students to actively participate in the song.  They can be created for songs you use in your classroom.  There are also some ready-made song boards for younger students.  See this website for more information:  http://www.aacintervention.com/musiclang.pdf
  • Check out some ready-made song boards that you can print if you have Boardmaker™ http://prekese.dadeschools.net/BMD/songboards.html
  • By recording lines on a voice output communication aid (VOCA) kids can say their lines in a play. 
  • When performing, timing is very important to the flow of the play.  It should be as easy as possible for kids to access their device – consider this when customizing the messages on a device. 
  • A student may use a different access method or page set up while acting.  Some kids will need some extra help from a partner who can help them know when it’s their turn to say their line. Try colour-coding lines to make prompting easier.
DANCE! Kids in wheelchairs can be included in dancing and performing with a little help from their peers.  See the story of Rebecca Beayni for inspiration.  http://www.rebeccabeayni.com/RevelintheLight.html

No-Tech Ideas
  • Writing a Play – Try adapting a favourite story into a play.  Choose a story with enough characters for your students.  Try to ensure that all participants have a fairly equal number of lines to say. 

Light Tech Ideas
  • Every play needs sound effects! Record different effects onto single message devices for use throughout the play.
  • The first line of a song or a chorus can be recorded onto a single message device – the student decides when the singing begins.

High Tech Ideas
  • If your student uses scanning, try to program the device to link between pages to speed up access to lines.
  • Be sure to test the volume and clarity of the device in the room the play will be performed.
  • Devices with recorded speech are often easier to understand in a play.  It also allows for added expression when recording the lines.
  • If your student has a high tech device, they may be able to use the device to sing a song. 
 Resources for teachers and educators:

Check out the following websites for great ideas: