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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: Project Friend
Project Friend 

HOW IT WORKS
Project Friend teaches values to both students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers. They learn to appreciate friendship, tolerance, and patience. Students integrate language arts and technology skills by using the computer to create original literacy and art projects related to friendship. It also increases the social skills of the special education students by using their non-disabled peers as role models. They also use a digital and video camera to demonstrate the program.

The program is implemented in the classroom in several settings. The students work in their second grade classroom and in the school library. Both groups of students work together in the computer lab for several weeks during the integration program for special projects. Students at the general education school receive sensitivity lessons prior to meeting the students with disabilities. The students also contact each other weekly via e-mail and participate in read-aloud and “book buddy” sessions in which they hear and read relevant stories. They put their responses on the computer, create a book on friendship using the KidPix program, and create a “friendship mural” using the digital camera to take photos of each other as they work together.

Each student creates a paper square for a Friendship Quilt. They respond to the question “What is a friend?” and illustrate their response using KidPix. The students then do a performance, using sign language and singing songs about friendship, with their computer-created Friendship Mural as scenery. The program ends with a Celebration of Friendship party where students videotape vignettes of reactions and feelings about Project Friend. 

THE STUDENTS
There are 35 students participating in the program.  The students meet in the computer lab once a week. The special education students need assistance in accessing the computer through adaptations and adult assistance. Students have Individualized Education Programs (I.E.P.) with computer access goals. This program can be adapted for older students as well as elementary level students. Students can be grouped in pairs and can work cooperatively on this project. 

THE STAFF
Susan Bellack has been teaching for fifteen years and has dual certification in general and special education. She works in the library at P.S. 811Q and does language art lessons. During the past five years, she has been providing Sensitivity workshops for the general education students and Inclusion Support workshops for participating staff. The program uses the support of the computer teacher and second grade teacher from the general education school, the library cluster teacher, one special education teacher, and paraprofessionals assigned to the special education students. 

WHAT YOU NEED
A classroom with computers or a computer lab is needed for the program, as is access to the Internet, a digital camera, KidPix software, lesson plans, tapes, and various books. 

OVERALL VALUE
Project Friend addresses one of the most important issues in our society today. It serves as a values- and character-education program for students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers. It addresses tolerance, patience, and friendship towards those who may seem different. It provides special education students an opportunity to interact with their general education peers, which helps increase their communication skills. It teaches students with disabilities appropriate social behaviors by using their nondisabled peers as role models. It also teaches general education students to better understand and accept people with disabilities. 

 

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

CURRICULUM AREAS
Language Arts
Social Studies
 Technology

GRADES
Grade 2
-6

MORE INFORMATION

Susan Bellack
P811Q-Marathon School
61-25 Marathon Parkway
Little Neck, NY 11362
suezqdb@aol.com
Principal
Joan Washington

IMPACT II 
Catalog 2002-2003

 

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