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Community Connections


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Keywords: community involvement, social skills, English, Language Arts, careers
Subject(s): Journalism, English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Photography, Special Needs, Technology, Social Skills
Grades 6 through 8
Original Author: Linda Kennedy, Warrenton
Community Connections is designed as a multi-level program that will serve 15-20 middle school students with disabilities who are learning about their communities. The school/community connection is an important piece of a student's total education, especially for those with differing abilities. Students may complete all of the program activities or just a few, depending on individual needs.

Program components include:

1. What's Out There? Students will explore locations
and businesses to discover what makes up their
community, using DIGITAL CAMERAS to record their
new found information. Then, using TOOL FACTORY,
the students will develop books, posters, or other
tools to help them navigate and utilize important
community places.

2. What's Your Job? Students will visit job
locations and interview workers to discover what
jobs are available in their communities. They will
use DIGITAL CAMERAS to record workers in jobs that
they find interesting. Using TOOL FACTORY, each
student will create a personal career notebook/
portfolio that includes information about their
favorite jobs.

3. Working like a Pro. Students will choose several
jobs that they would like to try out, and will be
photographed in those settings. Using TOOL
FACTORY,they will then write about their
experiences and include the summaries in their
career notebook/portfolio.

4. We Did It! Using DIGITAL CAMERAS and TOOL FACTORY
students will develop and present a showcase of
their community connection activities to teachers,
parents, school personnel, and community members
who assisted in the Community Connections program.
Each student will also share his/her career
notebook that documents personal community
experiences.

After completion of Community Connections students will:

1. Be able to effectively operate a digital camera
2. Expand personal knowledge of their community as
a whole
3. Be able to create posters, books, and
presentations using digital cameras and computer
software
4. Develop social skills through interactions with
community members
5. Develop a personal career notebook/portfolio
that can be used in present and future school
and community settings
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
1. Create functional reading cards: While in the community, students photograph safety and directional signs (stop, danger,exit) and create cards to help reinforce the words and concepts

2. As a motivating activity, students are photographed as student of the week and create a poster showcasing themselves

3. Students can photograph each other and create a class phone book

4. Take pictures of things that are happening around the school and use as journaling activities

Follow-Up
1. Students can keep an ongoing portfolio while in middle school that will follow them to high school settings

2. Eighth graders can visit the high school that they will attend and photograph persons, places and things in the new environments,then create a book that will make their transitions to the new environment easier.
Materials: Worksheets, Database, Spreadsheet, Word Processor, Batteries, Camera Bags, Point and Shoot
Other Items: 1 Batteries and charging station, $75.00 each, total of $75.00
3 Camera cases, $25.00 each, total of $75.00
1 Photo printer, $150.00 each, total of $150.00
1 Print paper, $50.00 each, total of $50.00
Notebooks and miscellaneous supplies, $30.00 each
3 256 memory card for each camera, $40.00 each, total of $120.00
Associated File: 4658.kid