Title: "Dyslexia Hall of Fame"

Subject area: English / Language & CommunicationSpecific

Topic: Project on the Lives of Famous, Successful Dyslexics

Project Goals:The major goal of this project is to enhance the confidence and self-esteem of dyslexic students by making them aware that many famous and successful people are dyslexics who have struggled with literacy all their lives. In the course of this project, students will learn to :
  • research their topic using the internet and encyclopaedia CD-ROMs
  • download text and graphics into a Word file
  • integrate these with their own typed text
  • structure a report
  • organise the finished articles for display purposes

    Who is the project for: This particular project is for a group of 11 students with specific learning difficulties in a specialist Reading Class.

    Age 11 - 13 years.

    Display:
    It will be displayed in the school foyer, and sections of it will be posted on the school web-site.

    Prerequisite resources: Internet access CD-ROM encyclopaedia (Encarta)

    Prerequisite ICT skills:
    Ability to access data on CD-ROM Ability to search the internet

    Project management
  • Each student will choose a famous dyslexic person from a list prepared by the teacher. Examples include Bill Gates, Agatha Christie, Richard Branson, W.B. Yeats.
  • Students will gather information on their chosen person from Encarta and from the Internet.
  • They will then write an article on that person, incorporating their research findings. If available, a picture will also be included.
  • When all are complete, they will be mounted on a large wall-chart and displayed in the school foyer to be seen by teachers, students, and visitors to the school.
  • Parents will be invited in to view the project and will also receive a bound copy.
  • Sections of the project will be displayed on the school web-site.

    Evaluation:In general, the project went very well, and the students were very pleased with the result. It attracted a lot of attention from the staff and other students in the school, which had the desired result of increasing the self-esteem of the dyslexic students.
    This operated in two ways -
  • the fact that so many well-known people are dyslexic was an eye-opener to those reading the project and made them realise that our dyslexic students have great potential, and
  • the fact that the class had managed to produce such an interesting project made people look at them in a new light.

Parents were also very happy with the project and much of the content was encouraging news for them, too.
Thus, both the process and the content contributed to the achievement of our project's major goal.

Difficulties
: We did encounter difficulties, of course, mainly to do with the students' reading difficulties. Some required a lot of help with reading through the material which they found on the Internet and on CD. Others required help with the structure of the article to be written. One or two needed help with technological aspects, such as cutting and pasting from the Internet, and downloading graphics.
In general, however, their computer skills were of a very high standard. They were also very willing to help each other out with this aspect of things.

Teacher Observations:
From the teacher's point of view the project was very worthwhile. It boosted awareness of the existence of the specialist class within the school, and increased people's knowledge about dyslexia. It made the students feel good about themselves and enabled some of them to see a piece of their work on public display for the first time.
Ennis National School
SIP 058

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