This school year, I am teaching a resource class for students with special needs. I plan on teaching them strategies and skills that will
help empower them to succeed in current and future classes as well as in life outside of high school. But before I get started, I thought it was essential that I show them a video of a monkey riding a bicycle while being chased by a dog... you know... normal stuff.
Although that video has nothing to do with the lesson I plan to teach, it does catch their attention. It also allows me to use the act of learning to ride a bike as an analogy for the real concept.
I will embed that video in a PowerPoint. After showing that video I will click to this:
Hopefully those questions will spark a conversation about the process of learning to ride a bike. I will ask them to share their experiences with a partner and then with the entire group. Through this process, I anticipate my students will talk about using training wheels, having an adult hold onto their bike as they run with them, and eventually being able to balance on their own.
Next, I will ask them if they know the difference between the words "helping" and "empowering". After some discussion, I will show them these slides:
I will then ask, "When someone is teaching another person how to ride a bike, are they helping or empowering that person?"
After discussion, I will call on Thor to help me out:
This image and the word "Empower" will be animated to appear on command.
Then I will ask the following questions:
- Can a rider learn if they never peddle?
- Can a rider learn if the teacher never lets go?
- Can a rider learn if they give up?
- Can a rider learn if they never make a mistake?
- Can a rider learn if they don’t know why they made a mistake?
After a class discussion, a giant "NO!" will cover those questions.
Next, I will ask "Although it may take some help to get there, what is the new rider empowered to do now and in the future?"
Although I know the students will come up with some very original answers, I bet they will include:
- Ride for fun
- Ride in competitions
- Become a profession cyclist
- Teach others to ride
- Get a job at a bike shop
Then I will ask the million dollar question... and once again the Mighty Thor will help to make my point.
At this point I will ask what they think they can empower themselves to do if they succeed in this class.
This is only a start. As the students think of more ways they can become empowered, I will add them to the list.
Just in case the kids aren't pumped up enough, I will end with this video.