Building Knowledge and Skills: Classroom Celebration Ideas

The following activities reflect the importance of taking awareness to the next level—action! Building the knowledge and skills of students, families, school staff, and members of the community increases the likelihood that inclusive practices will become integrated into the framework of the community.

  • Ask students to research technologies that can support students to achieve in school and in the community. Compile a resource guide for the school and district.
  • Encourage students to study how the fields of science and technology have contributed to the lives of people with disabilities. Some examples are cochlear implants, assistive technology, wheelchairs, TTY, etc.
  • Take time out to explore your students’ interests. Ask students to identify topics that interest them and activities that occupy their non-school time. Try to incorporate some of their interests and likes into your classroom.
  • Assign students to explore websites dedicated to Universal Design for Learning and technology in order to come up with ideas to improve access to information for themselves and others. One example is Teaching Every Student at
  • Ask students to complete a Learning Style Assessment. Host a classroom discussion about the various ways that people learn and why it is important to know how each individual learns the best.
  • Make a commitment during the Week to try some new teaching strategies aimed at improving outcomes for all kids in your class. Incorporate active learning into your language arts lesson, take the students for an observation walk during science class, or act out the events in history that you are studying. Your hard work will pay off, because the students will embrace learning while having fun.
  • Incorporate the teaching of study skills into the classroom curriculum. These supports serve to increase the achievement levels of all students.
  • Encourage students to use graphic organizers as tools to write essays/stories/projects conveying their thoughts and ideas about inclusive education. See the Resources section for links to sample graphic organizers.
  • Have the class study the use of “person first” language when talking about people with differences in language, culture, and ability. The lesson includes a discussion of what personal characteristics you want people to emphasize when they refer to you. Each student can sign a contract committing to using person first language in their conversations and sharing this information with others in their family and community.
  • Allow students to make a choice of how they will demonstrate their learning on a specific topic. Encourage students to be creative and to be able to explain why they chose to be assessed in their respective ways.
  • Assign a research project on culturally responsive educational practices. Ask students to make the connection between these practices and building an inclusive school.
  • Each morning introduce students to a new word in American Sign Language. Encourage them to use the word at least five times during the school day.
  • Teach students the proper way to provide assistance as a sighted guide to a person who is blind or visually impaired. They can take turns practicing on each other using a blindfold.
  • Have students study the demographics of the school and community. Do the services provided adequately serve the needs of the community? What recommendations can be made to community leaders and local government?
  • Ask the class to design a chart outlining the features of a store, restaurant, or other public place that would make it more accessible to people with disabilities. Collect data on local businesses that have these accessible features. At the conclusion of the project, present an award to the business that has the most accessible features.
  • Have students research federal and state laws that protect human and civil rights. Research disability laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. How do they apply to their schools and communities?
  • Instruct students to work in groups to assess the accessibility of the school and community for people with disabilities. What modifications can be made? Do the public buildings in the community offer access to people with disabilities? How many restaurants in the community offer menus in Braille? Is there a text telephone or TTY in the school (also known as a TDD, which stands for telecommunication device for the deaf)?
  • Ask student groups to study the elements of universal design, a principle of architectural design that focuses on accessibility for all people. How do the concepts apply to their school and community? How can the concepts of universal design assist in fostering an inclusive environment?
  • Have individuals build a model (either three-dimensional or on graph paper) of a classroom, school, or community that provides access for all people. List the features that contribute to it being an inclusive environment.
  • Have students investigate the laws that protect people with disabilities in our country. Compare the findings to those of other countries.
  • Ask students to research what the education laws state about inclusive practices.

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