Friday, December 9, 2016

Guidance Lesson: Following Directions

Guidance Lesson Plan

Topic: Following Directions

Grade(s): Elementary 6th grade special education

Rational and Purpose:  The ability to follow directions from start to finish is an important skill that is utilized in all areas of life.  This lesson is created to help students practice and recognize the importance of following spoken, written and visual directions.  Students will also learn techniques that can be used to persist through any challenges faced while following directions.

Applicable ASCA Standards:
A: A1.5 – Identify attitudes and behaviors that lead to successful learning
A: A2.2 – Demonstrate how effort and persistence positively affect learning
(American School Counselor Association [ASCA], 2004).

 Step One: (3 minutes) Begin this lesson by reviewing whole body listening skills and how listening skills help our brain learn and grow.  Ask the class if they are ready to put their listening skills to the test by following directions.  Play a short round of “Simon Says.”

 Step Two: (15 minutes)  Share with the class that sometimes directions are easy and sometimes directions are hard to follow.  Ask the students what skills help them follow directions.  On the side of the white board, write down the skills the class comes up with.  The students will then watch a YouTube video where Goofy talks about following directions.  Inform the students to pay close attention because you will be pausing the video every once in a while to ask them questions.
(Helpful hint: This video works well with special education classrooms because the information in the video is presented in a way that is matter of fact and shows a variety of real life situation where following directions is important.  The answers to the questions you ask the students are directly taken from the video.  Some students will remember the skills by hearing them during the video, and some students will remember them better when they are discussed and written on the board, or when they see the skills on their worksheet.  Repetition of the topic is important, and presenting this repetition in a variety of ways will better suit different learning styles.)
-At 52 seconds into the video Goofy says, “Everybody needs directions.” Ask the class, “Who needs directions?” Have them repeat, “Everybody!”
-Pause the video at 1:54 and ask the class what the three main kinds of directions are.  Write visual, spoken and written on the white board.
-Pause the video at 4:22 and ask the class what skills they can use to help them with spoken directions.  From the video the skills stated are: listen, concentrate, write them down, repeat them to yourself, eye contact, wait until you hear ALL instructions before asking questions.  Ask the class if there is anything they would like to add to the list that helps them with spoken instructions.
-Pause the video at 4:57 and ask the class what skills they can use to help them with written directions.  From the video the skills stated are: repeat the directions out loud, read slowly, watch for words like ‘before’, ‘after’ and ‘instead of.’
-Watch the rest of the video.
- After the video, you can say, “Oh no, Goofy did not tell us what skills will help us with visual directions!” “Someone give me a skill that helps you with visual directions.”  Have the students brainstorm additional skills that will help with visual directions.
-Add in some things that you think are important with following all types of directions: being in a calm state of mind, keep trying even if it is hard, it’s okay to ask for help.
(Helpful hint: keep a list of these skills with you as a reference).
Step Three: (1 minute) “Before our activity, let’s do a brain break to make sure our brains are calm and ready to follow directions.”  You can use any mindfulness strategy that gets the class out of their desks and moving a little.  Ex: draw a balloon on the board.  Have the students stand up and tell them they are going to pretend they are the balloon.  Have the class all together take two long deep breaths and on the third one have the students reach their arms above their head like the shape of a balloon, lowering their arms when they exhale.  Next, have the students bend over and dangle their arms like the string of the balloon blowing in the wind.  Afterwards you can ask the students, “what type of directions was that brain break.”
(Helpful hint: you can choose a mindfulness activity that best suits the class and what helps them to feel calm and relaxed).

Step Four: (11 minutes) The students will now do an activity where they are challenged to follow three types of directions.  Hand out color pencils and a worksheet to each student with an outlined picture of Goofy with skills for following directions surrounding him.

Written Directions:  On the top of the paper have written directions that state, “1. Circle 3 skills that help you the most while following directions. 2. Color Goofy’s hat green. 3. Color Goofy’s tongue red.”  Following these written directions is the first task of the activity.  Allow the students a few minutes to complete this part.
Visual Directions:  Inform the students that they will now be following visual directions.  The students will watch as you step by step show them how to fold their piece of paper into the shape of an envelope.
(Helpful hint: it is up to your discretion on how you fold the paper.  Base the folding design on the skill levels of the classroom.  Use an AVerVision for the visual directions).
Spoken Directions:  Tell the class that before they come up to get a sticker to close their envelope, they need to write “… at following directions” on the bottom part of their envelope.  See if the students notice your use of the word ‘before’.  If not, point it out to the class.  Once they have that written, they can come up and get their sticker that says “I rock”.  Have each student read what their envelop says after they put the sticker on; “I rock at following directions!”  As each student gets their sticker, praise them at how great they did at using their following directions skills during today’s lesson.
Assessment and Evaluation:  The pre-assessment will be the original list the class brainstormed before watching the video.  The post assessment is the lists of skills on the board after the movie.  Another form of post assessment takes place when the students are completing the first part of the worksheet, where they are acknowledging which three skills help them the best while following directions.

-Internet access and viewing screen for the video
-White board
-Following directions worksheet
-Color pencils (at least a red and green for each student)
-Reward stickers


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