Weekly accessible learning activities: Spider Friends, “Firefall”, “Grief Camp”

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Every Wednesday, we shine the spotlight on five student activities that support a wide range of learners. In this week’s roundup of accessible activities, we invite students to learn about a new species of spider, reflect on something amazing they’ve seen in the wild, watch a film about young grieving, sharing their thoughts on the end of mask mandates and looking closely at a photograph.

Note: To learn more about this new weekly feature, read our presentation article. Please share your thoughts in the comments section or by emailing us at [email protected]


1. Learn about the joro spider.

This Lesson of the day focuses on a species of spider that has invaded the east coast of the United States. Students will take a quiz to test their knowledge of spiders, read a short article, and then create a new Spider-Man character based on the joro spider.

2. Reflect on natural wonders.

In this Student review, students discover a waterfall in Yosemite National Park that seems to turn into a “fall of fire” every February. Next, students think of something in nature that surprised or impressed them. They can share their memory in the comments section of the article.

3. Watch a film about young people going through grief.

In this movie club, students watch an 18-minute film about a camp for children who have lost a loved one. As they watch, students will see how 10-year-old Yaren, who lost her mother at age six, finds community with other young people who have also lost a family member. Next, students will share how they deal with grief and what they learned from listening to Yaren’s story.

4. Share: Were you hesitant to ditch your mask?

This Image prompt features an image and related article about teens who feel anxious about taking their masks off in public. Students can share their thoughts on lifting mask mandates in the comments section and read what other young people around the world have to say.

5. Make observations on a photograph.

In this week What’s going on in this picture, students will analyze a photograph from The New York Times without its caption. They will make evidence-based observations and guesses about what they think is going on. Then they can read what other students, as well as moderators from the Visual Thinking Strategies organization, have to say about the image.

Share.

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