February is National Inclusive Education Month. Acknowledge the efforts and commitment to Inclusive education

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1 February is National Inclusive Education Month Goals for Inclusive Education Month are to: Acknowledge the efforts and commitment to Inclusive education Celebrate the progress in educating diverse learners in our schools Reflect on current practices and policies for inclusive education Promote inclusionary practices in our schools How to get Involved: 1. Design posters, podcasts, monitor messages that celebrate the diversity of learners at your school. 2. Host a school assembly highlighting the diversity in your school community.

2 3. Using school based photos, create an Inclusion collage or bulletin board. 4. For more ideas, refer to grade level suggestions Ideas to Explore Inclusion Primary Students 1. Share The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss (www.squidoo.com/thesneetches) Follow up with a discussion on fairness and belonging. 2. The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane Derolf and Michael Letzig, Before reading the story complete a drawing exercise to help students discover the value of diversity. Provide each student with two sheets of drawing paper, Allow each student to pick out one crayon from a box provided. Ask them to draw a picture with only the single crayon. When finished ask students to take out their own boxes of crayons and draw another picture on the second sheet of paper; they could use as many different colors as they wished.

3 When they are finished, ask them the following questions: Which picture do you like best? Why? Which picture would you like to display in your classroom, the hallway, at home? Next, read them The Crayon Box that Talked. Continue the discussion, ask, "Wasn't it silly for the crayons not to like each other just because of their color? Each crayon had something special to offer to the picture green for the grass, blue for the sky, yellow for the sun." Ask them to brainstorm the reasons it is important to accept people who are different from us, recording their responses. (Taken from T. Pinnick) Unknown author: "We could learn a lot from crayons.... (They) all are different colors, but they all exist very nicely in the same box." 3. Complete learning profile activity (see activity # 9 below) and display on bulletin board. 4. Create art projects, such as I am Special or Great Things Happen in Inclusive Schools buttons that students can wear. 5. Have students write a list of all their unique characteristics under a picture of themselves. Display students work. 6. Develop a class motto or mission statement that highlights the inclusive nature of the classroom. 7. Involve support staff (secretaries, custodians, nurse,) in classroom activities to create an awareness of their roles in the school.

4 Elementary Students 1. Create a play list for an inclusion IPOD. Download songs and play throughout month. 2. Take photos of examples of Inclusion practices in your school and play them on your school monitors. 3. Write about a time that the students felt included/excluded. 4. Have students produce paintings or collages, written work, photos, PowerPoint presentations, video, tape recordings, art, dance, drama and other creative work to show what inclusion means to them. 5. Pair up and enjoy partner activities such as a simple maporienteering exercise to find hidden clues in the school grounds. 6. Ask students to identify topics that interest them and activities that occupy their non-school life. Incorporate topics into your classroom activities. 7. Allow students to choose how they will demonstrate their learning on a specific topic. Have them tell why they choose that format. 8. Make an inclusion quilt. Have each class or student design a square with examples of inclusion or with inclusion words. Display on Bulletin board.

5 9. Learning Profile Activity Create a self portrait using cut outs for body parts or fill in character template 1. Favourite subjects in school =head color and body color Math-purple Science-red Reading-blue Writing-orange 2. Least favourite subjects in school=hair color (You can design fun hair) Math-purple Science-red Reading-blue Writing-orange 3. If you are a boy, use shorts. If you are a girl use the pants. Make the color pants/shorts with your favorite color. 4. Strongest multiple intelligence area=shirt color intrapersonal-white Interpersonal-red Musical-blue Kinesthetic-black Logical mathematical-yellow Verbal/linguistic-purple Visual/spatial-orange Naturalist-green 5. Learning preference=shoe color Visual-white Auditory-black

6 Kinesthetic-brown 6. If you prefer to work alone on project, put on stripes. If you prefer to work in groups, draw polka dots on County your shirts. Schools 7. If you like to be challenged and learn new and difficult things, design a hat for yourself. From Mr. Wasserman s 5thgrade classroom, Henrico Jr. / Sr. High Students 1. Write an essay/speech on how to create an ideal inclusive school. 2. Discuss Fair is not equal Fair is getting what you need. 3. Write an essay, poem, photo journal or video on a. Our Ideal Inclusive School b. What it is like to be excluded 4. Use technology to create a PowerPoint presentation about some of the ways we can use computers and technology in the classroom. 5. Hold a debate focusing on inclusion What makes me feel that I belong to my school. 6. Have students produce paintings or collages, written work, photos, PowerPoint presentations, video, tape recordings, art, dance, drama and other creative work to show what inclusion means to them.

7 7. Celebrate cultural diversity within the school, with an exploration of languages, culinary delights and other features of the cultures represented at the school. 8. Create a play list for an inclusion IPOD. Download songs and play throughout month. 9. Take photos of examples of Inclusion practices in your school and play them on your school monitors. 10. Encourage students to study how the fields of science and technology have contributed to the Inclusion of all people. 11. Explore students interests. Ask students about their non-school activities and incorporate some of their interests and likes into your classroom activities. 12. Have students use graphic organizers as tools to write essays/stories/projects conveying their thoughts and ideas about inclusive education. 13. Form a Social Justice Committee that examines the inclusive practices of the school.

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