Title: A Walk Along The Lane

Subject Area: Environmental Studies. History.
Mobility within the environment of the school grounds. Social and Personal Development.

Age Range: Special Needs children with a moderate range of learning difficulties aged between !4-16 years. Though it could be used as a project from 3rd Class upwards.

Goals of the Project.
1. To familiarise the students with their local school environment.
2. To teach them a little of the History of the lane.
3. To inform them a little about The West Clare Railway,
4. To compare and contrast the changes with then and the present day.
5. To observe and record information about the lane for the school's web page.
6. To interact and work together as a team.
7. To provide the group with the opportunity to select relevant data, use of Digital camera.

Curriculum Relevance

  • The objectives stated above integrate various aspects of The Special Needs Curriculum.Social and personal skills - interpersonal skills, discussion and team work.
  • Recording images using the digital camera exposed the students to another ICT skills.
  • Language and communication skills - observing and talking about what they saw.

    Display: The school web site- http://stclares.ennis.ie The graphics are on the computer in the classroom and are downloaded to give the students the opportunity to write about the pictures and to recall the events. Copies of the project were supplied to all the students involved so that they could communicate the experience with their family and friends.

    Requirements
  • The Pupils need to have the necessary attention span and comprehension level to understand the content.
  • They need to be open to new knowledge and to grasp its relevance.
  • The teacher needs to decide on the content, pace of the project and teach the IT skills necessary for the project beforehand.
  • The project needs to be structured by the teacher to make the maximum use of the time allotted, and to ensure the desired learning outcome for the student.

    Management : The students walked through the lane and the sights were discussed. The students were questioned on the information to ensure the remembered the content. Using the Digital camera images of the sights were recorded and saved as jpgs in a special folder on the computer. With the help of the teacher the students wrote up their information in Word, allowing all involved an opportunity to record. The next stage involved discussing and planning the articles to be used in the web site. Using Front Page the information and images were put on our web site, this task was undertaken by the teacher and it provided a new learning experience for the students.
    Follow up work was done by the students, drawing pictures and writing about the photo images. Further development on the topic included looking for books on the subject in the local library.

    Organisation of Class The students chosen for the project came from the two senior classes. This involved working within timetables and making sure all the students spent their time productively. Tasks were allotted to the students working on the project. Some were better at recording information and others grasped the workings of the digital camera quickly. Opportunities were provided for the students to experience the different tasks thus improving their knowledge.

    Evaluation:This project facilitated a wide range of Curriculum based learning objectives. Skills such as recording, observing, researching and editing were enhanced. The student's self esteem improved through team work and cooperation, shy students felt more secure and worked more productively. Students were encouraged to express themselves and help was forthcoming in assisting the students to ask questions and formulate answers, thus improving speech and communication skills. It is important also to set the pace and content appropriate to the student's ability and understanding. This project will provide a framework for other projects and the mistakes made and the lessons learned will improve the quality and learning experience of future projects.
St. Clare's Special School
SIP 058
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