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Changes in the Community:

Diversity of Learners Adaptation


The lesson plan, Changes in the Community, was retrieved from the Ohio Department of Education website:

http://ims.ode.state.oh.us/ODE/IMS/Lessons/Content/H3C3-S3A1_Changes_in_the_Community.doc, adapted by Debra L. Clark, PhD


The following is a list of the Ohio academic benchmarks which are addressed by the original lesson plan and adaptations for meeting the needs of a diversity of learners:


Benchmark  Grades Subject Area
A 3rd-4th Social Studies: History
B 3rd-4th Social Studies: History
C 3rd-4th Social Studies: History
A 3rd-4th Social Studies: People in Societies
B 3rd-4th Social Studies: People in Societies
A 3rd-4th Social Studies: Geography
B 3rd-4th Social Studies: Geography
C 3rd-4th Social Studies: Geography
D 3rd-4th Social Studies: Geography
A 3rd-4th Social Studies: Social Studies Skills and Methods
B 3rd-4th Social Studies: Social Studies Skills and Methods
D 3rd-4th Social Studies: Social Studies Skills and Methods
C 3rd-4th Math: Patterns, Functions, and Algebra
D 3rd-4th Math: Patterns, Functions, and Algebra
E 3rd-4th Math: Patterns, Functions, and Algebra
B 3rd-4th Math: Mathematical Processes
D 3rd-4th Math: Mathematical Processes
E 3rd-4th Math: Mathematical Processes
G 3rd-4th Math: Mathematical Processes
H 3rd-4th Math: Mathematical Processes
I 3rd-4th Math: Mathematical Processes
J 3rd-4th Math: Mathematical Processes
K 3rd-4th Math: Mathematical Processes
J 3rd-4th Math: Number, Number Sense, and Operations
K 3rd-4th Math: Number, Number Sense, and Operations
L 3rd-4th Math: Number, Number Sense, and Operations
A 3rd-4th Language Arts: Reading Processes
D 3rd-4th Language Arts: Reading Applications
C 3rd-4th Language Arts: Writing Processes
I 3rd-4th Language Arts: Writing Processes
A 3rd-4th Language Arts: Research
B 3rd-4th Language Arts: Research
D 3rd-4th Language Arts: Research
C 3rd-4th Science: Earth and Space Sciences
A 3rd-4th Science: Science and Technology
B 3rd-4th Visual Arts: Historical, Social, and Cultural Contexts
A 3rd-4th Visual: Arts: Creative Expression and Communication
B 3rd-4th Visual: Arts: Creative Expression and Communication
C 3rd-4th Visual: Arts: Creative Expression and Communication
A 3rd-4th Visual Arts: Connections, Relationships and Applications
B 3rd-4th Visual Arts: Connections, Relationships and Applications
C 3rd-4th Visual Arts: Connections, Relationships and Applications
C 3rd-4th Music: Historical, Social, and Cultural Contexts
A 3rd-4th Music: Connections, Relationships, and Applications
B 3rd-4th Music: Connections, Relationships, and Applications



One of the primary pieces of knowledge to utilize when ensuring that a lesson addresses a diversity of learners is Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences.  Below are web sites that can be utilized to refresh one's memory or to learn about Gardner's theory:






Many scholars argue that females learn better in collaborative settings (see http://www.icme-organisers.dk/tsg26/3MaryBarnes.rtf for a discussion of this belief); others argue that some ethnicities, such as African-Americans and Native Americans also learn better in a collaborative setting (see http://www.evergreen.edu/washcenter/spring1993_15-17.pdf for a discussion of this belief).  Thus by addressing the interpersonal intelligence as defined by Gardner one should be engaging in the first step of attending to  a diversity of learners as it may relate to gender and ethnicities.  By addressing all of the intelligences one is also more likely to attend to language differences as well as learning disabilities.  Below is a list of ways to incorporate Gardner's theory and to also address a diversity of learners.

Though students will be drawn to those activities that are in line with their individual intelligences, it is advised that all students at least attempt a try all of the activities.  In doing so, they might discover an unknown talent or intelligence.


Application of Gardner's theory:




For students with verbal/linguistic intelligence, a shared reading experience would strengthen their knowledge of this topic.  Below are children's books tied to the topic of community/Ohio history.  Any local library should be able to obtain many, if not all, of the books below.


                                       African American History  (http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Estates/4967/afroamer.html)  


                                       Igus, Toyomi. When I Was Little. (During the summer, Noel visits his Grandpa Will, who takes him fishing. They enjoy each other's company. Grandpa Will shares

                                       stories of his life when he was a young boy.)


                                        Medearis, Angela Shelf. Our People. Antheneum, 1994. (Rich, warm illustrations glow throughout this tender tribute to a young African-American girl's heritage.

                                        As she and her daddy talk about contributions of "our people", she acts out parallel events in her world today, as well as her dreams for tomorrow.)


                                         Myers, Walter Dean. Brown Angels: An Album of Pictures and Verse. (Describes as "born in the dusty corner of an antique shop where the old photographs

                                        are kept," Myers has collected pictures of African-American children from around the turn of the century and written verses to express what he imagines them to

                                        be thinking and feeling.)


                                        Myers, Walter Dean. The Glory Field. Scholastic, 1994. (Myers takes readers from 1753 to 1994, tracing six generations of the Lewis family, in this complex

                                        story of struggles and achievement.)


                                        Armstrong, William. Sounder.  (Newbery Medal; The grim and moving story of a black sharecropper's family whose father is jailed for stealing food for them.)  



                                        Native American History  (http://www.native-languages.org/books.htm#literature; descriptions from Amazon.com)


                                        Osofsky, Audrey. Dreamcatcher. (Grade 1-4 What was life like for an Ojibway child ``in a time long ago?'' For a baby, like the one at the center of this gentle

                                        and lyrical book, it means lying in a cradleboard at the center of family life, ``in the moon of the raspberries,'' while mother works, children play, and father



                                        Rendon, Marcie R., Lessem, Don, and Bellville, Cheryl Walsh. Powwow Summer: A Family Celebrates the Circle of Life. (Grade 3-5  This photo essay

                                        offers a glimpse of the life of an Anishinabe family as they spend a summer on the powwow trail.)


                                        Globe, Paul. Star Boy. (PW said, "Illustrated by elegant, brilliantly colored pictures in the Caldecott Medalist's recognizable style, the

                                        pictures . . . recreate ancient days among the Blackfoot Indians." Ages 5-8.  Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.)


                                        Bunting, Eve and Toddy, Irving. Cheyenne Again. (Grade 1-4-A poignant look at the pain inflicted upon one child by a dominant culture's heavy-handed attempt

                                        to "help." Near the turn of the century, a Cheyenne boy, Young Bull, is forced to attend the off-reservation Indian school so that he can learn to become a part of

                                        the white world.)



                                        Immigrant/Settler History (http://www.library.wwu.edu/ref/subjguides/ed/immigration.htm; descriptions from Amazon.com)


                                         Bunting, Eve. A Day's Work. Kindergarten-Grade 3. Joe Fox wonderfully narrates Eve Bunting's (Clarion Books, 1994) tender story of Francisco and his

                                         grandfather, Abuelo, looking for work as day laborers. Abuelo doesn't speak English, so Francisco joins him as translator. However, Francisco's desire for work

                                         leads to a lie, which causes trouble for him and his grandfather. In the end, Francisco and listeners learn a powerful lesson. Youngsters will also get a glimpse into

                                         the world of modern immigration and labor. The narration compliments the story with a gentle tone and change of voice for each character. Page-turn signals and

                                        musical interludes that express the characters' Mexican heritage are included on one side of the cassette. The book and tape may have to be repackaged since the

                                        carry along bag may not be sturdy enough for library circulation. - April R. Mazza, Wayland Free Public Library, MA Copyright Reed Business Information,

                                        a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved)


                                        Harris, Carol Flynn. A Place for Joey.  (Grades 3-6. The time is post-World War I and the setting, Boston's North End seven years after Joey and his family have

                                        arrived from Italy. They have saved almost enough money to fulfill their dream of buying a farm in Watertown, but the 12-year-old wants to stay in the

                                        neighborhood he loves.)


                                        Lehrman, Robert.  The Store That Mama Built. ( In 1917 the Fried family has moved to Steelton, Pa., to run a general store. But when their father dies, the

                                        children must make the store succeed or face returning to slum life in New York City. The story focuses on 12-year-old Birdie, whose pluck leads to the store's

                                        eventual success. Birdie sees the local prejudice against blacks as similar to the anti-Semitism her family escaped in Russia, and she encourages her mama to

                                        extend credit to black families, especially since none of the other businesses will. An old-fashioned heartwarmer, Lehrman's novel doesn't break any new ground;

                                        neither her characters nor their setting really shine. Based on family history, the meager plot far outweighs the players; while Birdie might have been a real girl, she

                                        never comes to life in these pages. Ages 8-12. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.)


                                        Furbee, Mary Rodd,  Outrageous Women of the American Frontier. In this latest collaboration between Peavy and Smith (Pioneer Women; Women in Waiting

                                        in the Westward Movement), the pair shift their focus to children and coming of age in the late 19th- and early 20th-century American West. The resulting work is

                                        less analytical than Elliott West's Growing Up with the Country (Univ. of New Mexico, 1998).



An interesting challenge for the logical/mathematical students would be to determine the rate of travel through Ohio based on mode of transportation: walking (Native Americans), horse back riding (European settlers), railroad, and car. The following are average speeds for the various modes of transportation:


                                        Walking - three miles per hour

                                        Horseback riding - two miles per hour walking; 15 miles per hour running short distances

                                        Railroad - 25 miles per hour/1800's; 60 miles per hour/1900's

                                        Car - 45 miles per hour top speed of the Model T


First have a map of Ohio for students to utilize.  Then ask them to choose three trips through Ohio (i.e. Cleveland to Toledo, Dayton to Cincinnati, Columbus to Akron).  Then show the children the map key and ask them to determine the distance of each trip.  Then ask the students to write a sentence explaining how they will determine how long each trip will take.  Then have students share their ideas and, as a class, test the ideas.  Once a reasonable means of determining the length of each trip has been determined, ask the students to make an equation for the sentence using symbols (S=speed, D=distance).  Then have students test the theory and equation they created.                                                




For the students with visual/spatial intelligence, a task to enhance the learning of these students would be to create a class mural of Ohio history.  As a class, determine what should be included.  Then tape together butcher paper to make a rectangle to cover the wall.  Once the wall has been covered, outline in pencil where different components of Ohio history will be represented.  Make sure that there are an equal number of components to the number of students in the class.  Then at different times have students go to the mural to paint their portion of the mural.  Make sure to start in the center, so that students do not smdge previously painted sections.          




The bodily/kinesthetic students will be interested in any activity that involves movement.  Therefore, the pictures utilized in the original lesson should include pictures of sports and dance.  Also make sure to include in your lesson a discussion of games Native American children played.   The following web site provides explanations of Native American games that students in the classroom can play: http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/lessonplans/ect/nativegames.htm           




For the children with musical/rhythmical intelligence, exploring the songs of Native Americans, African Americans, and immigrants would provide them with a sense of life in historical Ohio and perhaps their community as well as an understanding of the influence of these cultures on popular music.     The follow web sites provide links to various song lyrics and well as information regarding influence on popular music:


                                        http://parlorsongs.com/insearch/amerindian/amerindian0.asp (influence of Native American music on popular music)

                                        http://parlorsongs.com/insearch/blues/blues.asp (influence of African Americans on popular music)

                                        http://northbysouth.kenyon.edu/1998/music/rhythm/rhythm.htm  (influence of African Americans on popular music)

                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_American_music (influence of African Americans on popular music)

                                        http://parlorsongs.com/bios/berlin/iberlin.asp (Irving Berlin, Russian immigrant)

                                        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/loc/czars4.html (music of Jewish immigrants)

                                        http://immigration.about.com/library/weekly/aa112499a.htm (Arthur Rubinstein, Polish immigrant)

                                        http://immigration.about.com/cs/famousimmigrants/a/CarlosSantana.htm (Carlos Santana, Mexican immigrant)

                                        http://immigration.about.com/library/weekly/aa090899.htm (Gene Simmons of KISS, Israeli immigrant)




The naturalist student will enjoy learning about the natural history of Ohio and his or her community.  In the book, Along the Ohio Trail, pages eight through seventeen should be particularly interesting to the student who has naturalist intelligence.                           



Final Thoughts on Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences


All of the above intelligences are content specific.  The intelligences of interpersonal and intrapersonal are different in that they are more tied to another theory Myers Briggs theory of personality development, specifically the introvert/extrovert dimension.  A commonly held belief is that introverts are shy and non-verbal, whereas extroverts are outgoing and very verbal.  This is only part of the story of this dimension.  Yes, introverts tend to be less verbal and extroverts tend to be more verbal.  However, the reason behind these tendencies is what is important for teachers to understand.  The reasons behind these tendencies are directly tied to the intelligences of interpersonal and intrapersonal.


Introverts and individuals with intrapersonal intelligence are very able to speak, but must be given the opportunity to do so.  Introverts and individuals with intrapersonal intelligence have an internal energy base.  In other words, these individuals become energized when able to spend time alone.  This internal energy base is also why individuals who are introverts and have intrapersonal intelligence need quiet time to think and process information.  Once these students are given the time to process information internally, they are very willing and able to share their thoughts.  A classroom activity that should occur everyday is time to think.  An easy way for teachers to ensure this occurs is to put into the daily schedule time for journaling.

Extroverts and individuals with interpersonal intelligence process information and gain energy in an opposite process.  Extroverts gain energy through interactions with others; extroverts need to talk to think.  Thus, whereas introverts and individuals with intrapersonal intelligence need quiet time to think, extroverts need others to speak to in order to think.  To meet the needs of these students, small and large group activities are most beneficial.



Working with students with visual impairments

When working with a disabled student it is important for the teacher to understand how the student experiences the world.  The following links will assist a teacher in better understanding the life of a student with a visual impairment:





http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/reginald-phillips/beginnersPaper.htm (materials to assist visually impaired students)


If you would like to learn more about Braille materials and other teaching tools for students who are blind, the American Foundation for the Blind web site provides numerous resources for classroom teachers:  http://www.afb.org.


All of the above tasks could be problematic for a student with visual impairments.  Therefore adaptations should be made.  The children's book activity will not be problematic if the teacher reads the books to the students.  If students read the book, it will need to be translated into Braille or read by using raised paper or plastic letters.  The portion of the logical/mathematical lesson that could be problematic is the map reading portion.  Because map reading is a skill students begin learning in kindergarten, a child with a visual impairment should be supplied with maps that he or she can read.  The following web sites provide information regarding maps for the blind and visually impaired:


http://www.aph.org/products/mapglobe.html (cost)


http://www.pythonware.com/products/pil/ (free, but computer technology needed)


Creating a mural could, of course, be problematic for a student who is blind, but for a visually impaired child,  it could be advantageous.   This, however, does not mean that the student who is blind can not participate.  By adding ingredients to the paints, such as sand, the mural can become textured and the student who is blind can contribute.  The reading of Along the Ohio Trail and web sites about the influence of African Americans, Native Americans, and immigrants on popular music would be problematic for a student with a visual problem as well as for any students with a limited number of computers in their school.  For both groups the teacher could read the book and web pages and share the information with the students.   The last component that could be problematic is playing Native American children's games.  Make sure to choose a game that the child with a visual impairment can play independently or can play by being assisted by another student.


Working with students with Auditory impairments


the following web sites will assist teachers in better understanding the life of a student with a auditory impairment:







For the most part, none of this lesson should prove problematic for students with auditory problems.   Even the portion regarding music can be explained by placing an emphasis on the lyrics.


Working with students with behavioral problems


The following web sites will assist teachers in better understanding the life of a student with a behavioral impairment: 






Students with behavioral problems respond well to structure and systematic rewards.  Thus two types of classroom situations can become problematic.  When students are required to sit quietly for an extended period of time, this presents a unique challenge for the child with a behavioral impairment.  In contrast, new activities that give students much freedom to make decisions can also be problematic for the child with a behavioral impairment.  Nonetheless, students with behavioral problems need to adapt to these situations.  Thus, when these diametrically opposed situations occur, the teachers need to be cognizant of the challenges a student with behavior problems might be experiencing and provide positive reinforcement in these situation.  For the above tasks, the mural project and determining the length of a trip could be problematic due to the independent nature of the activities.  For the mural project, pair the student with a behavioral problem with a student who is patient and has spatial/visual intelligence; for the task involving determining the length of a trip, pair the child with a behavioral problem with a student who is patient and has mathematical/logical intelligence.  Any activity that involves individual reading time or independent or group research could also be problematic.  For these activities, provide the child with behavioral problems with breaks and much positive reinforcement. 


Working with students with autism


The following web sites will assist teachers in better understanding the life of a student with autism.







Students with autism are much like students with behavioral problems in that structure and positive reinforcements are very important.  Another important aspect of the classroom environment is repetition.  Thus for the original lesson plan, the adaptation for multicultural awareness and appreciation, as well as this adaptation, it is important to relate new activities to previous activities.  This will help all students, but particularly the child with autism.  For example, if the teacher reading to the class is a common occurrence, relate Along the Ohio Trail to previous readings.  Relate the activity that involves determining the length of a trip to previous mathematical skills students have learned.    Relate the mural project to previous art projects and the Native American games to other games played in class.