The 25th anniversary of the movie classic “Field of Dreams,” celebrated this year with the MLB game in the Iowa cornfields, gives testimony to the movie’s legendary line, “If you build it, they will come.” It also echoes the message and hope of this year’s rebuilding theme for Inclusive Schools Week. If we share ownership for student success and together build an inclusive environment that welcomes all students, our children will come, and they will succeed! The Inclusive Schools Network is excited to feature the growth and progress of one of our Celebration Partners, Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® (SOUCS), in this month’s post.
Created in response to the increase of distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Unified Classroom is an initiative by Unified Champion Schools that brings the core value of Special Olympics into turnkey lessons, video tutorials, and digital engagement opportunities. Unified Classroom is available both on Google Classroom and Microsoft Education Center. Visit www.generationunified.org/unified-classroom for more information and access to these materials.
- Share favorite building activities past and present. Examples: blocks, clay, Legos, models. Why is it a favorite? What’s needed for success?
- How important is teamwork in building and rebuilding? What is needed to build a successful team?
- What makes a structure appealing? Share a favorite place/building/monument/park? What gives it lasting appeal?
- Students divide into teams and work together to build one of the following:
- largest skyscraper with Legos
- tallest bridge with toothpicks and clay
- biggest castle with blocks
- Share plans, resources and teamwork needed, and lessons learned.
- Students participate in a book study of W. P. Kinsella’s, Shoeless Joe, the inspiration for the famous line, “If you build it, they will come.”
- The Lego Ideas Book—Unlock Your Imagination by Daniel Lipkowitz
- Clay Play! Animal Favorites by Terri Taylor
- The Lego Architect by Tom Alphin
- The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco
- If You Build It… by Dwier Brown
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is a program for schools Pre-K through university that intentionally promotes meaningful social inclusion by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities to create accepting school environments. SOUCS utilizes three interconnected components: Special Olympics Unified Sports®, inclusive youth leadership, and whole school engagement.
In October 2021, Unified Champion Schools across the United States participated in the Special Olympics North America USC Fall Inclusion Week. Teams competed in inclusive youth leadership activities with different challenges and themes and used the GooseChase app to log their participation, earn points, and win prizes.
For more information, visit www.generationunified.org and click “What’s New.”