What Size is your Personal Bubble?
By: Emily Clary
Topic: Social Skills
Grade level: The following guideline outlines a guidance lesson catered to a high functioning 7th grade special education class.
Rationale and clear purpose for the unit or lesson:
This is a guidance lesson aimed at helping seventh grade special education students gain awareness about their own need(s) for personal space, while obtaining skills to appropriately communicate/interact with others with respect for their personal space needs within the middle school setting. I have provided a variety of activities throughout the lesson in order to activate all student strengths; kinesthetically, visually and verbally while providing structured independence and interactive elements to increase student engagement. As a result of this lesson, students will understand what a personal bubble is, that they have a right to have their personal bubble respected, and that the size of their personal bubble can change depending on the person they are interacting with. They will also gain skills regarding how to identify appropriate vs. inappropriate interactions with others and have an opportunity to self-identify their own personal bubble needs with various individuals in their daily school life (a friend, classmate, and teacher).
Applicable standard(s), objective(s), competency(ies ):
· Personal/Social: PS:A1.2 Students will be able to identify their values, attitudes and beliefs towards various individuals in the school setting based on their understanding of a personal bubble and the size of their self-generated personal bubble needs during the individual activity (ASCA, 2004).
· Personal/Social – Self knowledge: PS:A1.6 Students will be able to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate interactive behavior with others in the school setting using the interactive picture activity (ASCA, 2004).
· Personal/Social – Self knowledge: PS:A1.7 Students will be able to recognize personal boundaries, rights and privacy needs by learning the definition of a personal bubble, that this can change based on their setting, and that they have a right to have their personal bubble or boundaries respected (ASCA, 2004).
· Personal/Social – Self knowledge: PS:A1.8 Students will understand the need for self-control and how to practice it using the interactive picture activity to differ between appropriate and inappropriate interactions with others at school (ASCA, 2004).
· Personal/Social – Interpersonal Skills: PS:A1.11 Students will identify and discuss changing personal and social roles through the class discussion, and by identifying their own personal social boundary needs in with specific individuals in the individual worksheet activity (ASCA, 2004).
· Personal/Social – Interpersonal Skills: PS:A2.1 By learning the personal bubble right, students will recognize that everyone has rights and responsibilities to respect their own and others personal bubble. They will also be reminded that should their bubble either feel “popped” or violated, they have a right to tell a safe adult (ASCA, 2004).
· Personal/Social – Interpersonal Skills: PS:A2.3 Students will be informed that everyone’s personal bubble looks different (using the group discussion and individual activity) and that it is the student’s duty to respect others individual bubble needs/differences (ASCA, 2004).
· Personal/Social – Interpersonal Skills: PS:A2.6 Students will discuss as a group and visualize (using the picture activity) effective and appropriate communication skills for interacting with others around the school. Examples include: a high 5, handshake, fist bump, and/or a verbal “hello” (ASCA, 2004).
· The introduction of the lesson will be a discussion of the topic of the lesson (what’s your personal bubble size?) and a group discussion about personal bubbles to access previous student knowledge. Then move into a brief power point that covers the key terms of the lesson, and states the plan for the day, so that students know what to expect. Before showing students the key terms power point, facilitate a have a brief class discussion to access previous knowledge about what students know about a personal bubble, what this term means to them, and ways they might interact with others in a way that is appropriate for others bubbles and the school setting. This will be part of the pre-assessment.
· In order to create anticipation and encourage learning, remind students they will have the opportunity to participate in many different ways; using pictures, joining the group discussion, brainstorming with classmates, and/or completing the individual personal bubble worksheet. The purpose for telling them this is to encourage participation in any way students feel comfortable, and to be clear about the different elements students can expect to see throughout the lesson.
Developmental Learning Activities designed to meet the objective(s):
The activities for the lesson designed to meet the objectives will start with the brief power point and discussion as outlined in the introduction.
· Then transition into a discussion about what it looks like to have our own bubble respected, and how to interact with others appropriately and in a way that respects their bubble. After students have merged their prior understanding with the power point definitions, discuss how to interact with others in the school setting in a way that is respectful of ones own personal bubble and others personal bubbles.
· Then provide some examples of appropriate interactions with others at school such as; a high 5, verbal “hello” or even a fist bump. I will then allow students to generate their own ideas about appropriate interactions between others at school. This will be the second part of the pre-assessment.
· From there, move into the interactive picture activity where students will be broken into three groups of ____ (depending on the number of students present) and each group will be given 6 images depicting students and staff in a school setting interacting appropriately and inappropriately. Students should be prompted to discuss each image as a group and place the image under the appropriate category, either appropriate or not appropriate, which will be written on the white board.
· After all groups have finished categorizing, host a group discussion about why they positioned each image the way they did, whether or not the individuals in the image had their personal bubble respected, and how they knew this based on the body language and non-verbal language depicted in the image. This will be part of the post-assessment.
· Once the interactive picture activity has been completed, hand students three worksheets containing a picture of a stick figure and prompting them to draw the size of their personal bubble when they are around a friend vs. classmate vs. teacher. For the sake of time, choose one of the three worksheets for students to individually self-identify their personal bubble needs with that specific individual at school (classmate, teacher friend).
· Instruct students to keep the other two worksheets for future reference/discussion and as a reminder of the lesson. This is the post-assessment.
Closing and Follow up:
- At the conclusion of the lesson, review the definition of a personal bubble and a personal bubble right. Give them the opportunity to share their personal bubble worksheet if they would like, and take questions.
- Finally, remind students of their right to have their personal bubble respected in all settings (at home, at school, and in public), and if they ever feel that it has been violated, to reach out to a safe adult
· Tailor language and examples so they are developmentally appropriate for the intended audience
· Incorporate student contributions of examples of appropriate interactions to validate positive suggestions build off student generated ideas
· Partner with Special Education teacher to ensure images for picture activity are relevant and appropriate for the intended audience
· Be mindful of the sensitivity of this topic in terms of cultural differences and student history, clearly remind students to bring any concerns from this lesson to a safe adult. Provide sample suggestions.
Sample Pictures for Interactive Picture Activity:
The materials necessary for this lesson include a power point and access to power point materials in the classroom, a white board, tape, and six images for each group of three for the for the picture activity, three copies of the personal bubble worksheet for each student, and pens/markers to write on/personalize the worksheet.