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Grades 4-5: Disability, Citizenship, and Civil Rights

Screen cap from a film of George Veditz wearing a suit and giving a speech in American Sign Language.
George Veditz presenting Preservation of the Sign Language in American Sign Language. (1913). Library of Congress.

Grades 4-5 Unit Overview: Disability, Citizenship, and Civil Rights

The Unit Overview features a grid of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies and tools employed, standards, and a list of the 40+ primary sources used in the unit with thumbnails for each. (Lists of primary sources in lesson plans include hyperlinks to sources as readable text. Lesson plans detail the UDL strategies and tools that they use.) The Unit Overview also lists all secondary sources and background materials for teachers used in the unit.

Lesson 1 is essential to introduce study of disability. Lesson 2 integrates disability into study of immigration. This lesson could also stand alone, or it could support a larger immigration unit. Lessons 3 & 4 work together but could also work separately. Link to the Grades 4-5 Unit Overview

Grades 4-5 - Lesson 1: What is "Disability"? 

Introduces ideas about disability in part to ensure that students approach the topic and their peers with respect and kindness. Optional activities deepen understanding of disability and disability rights. Lesson 1 slides introduce a call to use words about disability with respect. The slides also introduce a definition, and key information and discussion of disability. 

Grades 4-5 - Lesson 2: Immigration: Who Is In? And Who Is Out? 

Examines immigration to the U.S. from the 1880s to 1920s including how it focused on disability. Lesson 2 slides examine the immigration system through images and information.  

Grades 4-5 - Lesson 3: History of the Disability Rights Movement

A teacher's presentation and student discussion explore strategies for change across 200 years of struggles for disability rights. Lesson 3 slides present the long arc of work for disability rights. 

Grades 4-5 - Lesson 4: How Disability Activists Created Change

Analyzes the work of disability rights activists. Small groups move between stations. Students evaluate sources, and then they develop a claim about civic engagement strategies based on evidence. Lesson 4 features primary sources for four stations, on: the African American Civil Rights Movement, 504 protests, disability rights activism, and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. Lesson 4 does not use slides. 

Screen cap of the cover of the unit overview features picture of George Veditz wearing a suit and giving a speech in American Sign Language.
Grades 4-5 Unit Overview: Disability, Citizenship, and Civil Rights
Link to a google doc of the grades 4-5 Unit Overview. 
A print of a drawing of Oliver Caswell and Laura Bridgman reading a book using their hands to feel the page. The young woman and boy are standing in front of a window. Laura wears a dark dress, her hair is curled and swept away from her face, and she wears a covering over her eyes. She is holding a book and guiding the hand of Oliver Caswell over the text. Oliver has short, light hair that curls around his face, he has a light shirt and a small black tie, and his eyes are closed.
Grades 4-5 - Lesson 1: What Is "Disability"?

Link to a google doc of lesson 1 for grades 4-5. 

Includes slides. 

A large hall in Ellis Island Immigration center. Chain linked fence walls divide different lines of immigrants. Two women with a baby sit to the left of the lines on a bench. Two uniformed inspectors stand at the front of the lines, and one uses tools to inspect the eyes of the line of immigrants. Men, women, and children stand in a line with papers pinned to their clothes indicating their immigration information.
Grades 4-5 Lesson 2: Immigration: Who Is In? And Who Is Out?

Link to a google doc of lesson 2 for grades 4-5. 

Includes slides. 

A plain button with a blue printed image and text that reads "Support ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act" The image shows the silhouette of people in a line holding hands, representing disabilities that use mobility aids like wheelchairs or canes.
Grades 4-5 Lesson 3: History of the Disability Rights Movement

Link to a google doc of lesson 3 for grades 4-5. 

Includes slides. 

A photograph of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan at a podium speaking into microphones. Congresswoman Jordan is a middle aged African American woman who is wearing a gray coat, large pearl earrings, and has short, wavy, black hair.
Grades 4-5 Lesson 4: How Disability Activists Created Change

Link to a google doc of lesson 4 for grades 4-5. 

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