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Autism Through the Eyes of Technology

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Keywords: Book Cover Making, Identifying the Elements of the Plot, Book Making
Subject(s): Information Skills, Art, Photography, Video, Animation, Social Skills, Spelling, Technology, Autism, Grammar, Special Needs, Writing, Speech and Language, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 6 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Paul W Bell Middle School, Miami, FL
Planned By: Lisa Dressler
Original Author: Lisa Dressler, Miami
Students create a new cover design for a book they are reading from the Unique Learning System. A curriculum designed for students with special needs (Hi-interest/low reading level). This project will demonstrate comprehension of the story and explore character, plot, setting, symbolism, and conflict.


As a class, we will look at the covers for several books/stories we have read from the Unique Learning System.

Questions the students will answer:

1- Does the cover art reflect the content and mood of the story?

My students will create new cover jackets for some of their favorite stories. The book jackets must include:

A clear title and author name
A graphic design that reflects the book theme
A summary of the plot without giving away the ending
A review (opinion) about the book

Students will use graphic organizers that show characters, setting, and events in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.


Students will then put together a proposal including one to two paragraphs about what the story is about in their own words and submit is to the teacher. Upon completion, students will then research and look at images they would like to use for their cover.

Once my students have collected all of their image resources, they will use Pixie, Wixie, or Share to combine them into a front and back cover design or book jacket with the assistance of the teacher and classroom paraprofessionals.

Collaboration and Sharing:

Upon completion of the cover designs, my students will work in small groups to evaluate each others work using a word processing software and printer.

The teacher will collect all of the evaluations and then distribute them to the students.

The teacher will then print the new cover designs and display them around school to promote reading through the use of technology. Also, the work of the students will be uploaded to the school's personal blog.


Teacher will use the character sketch to evaluate how well students understood the content of the book, as well as their skill at describing the characters and events in the text. In addition, the teacher will use the student's cover proposals to evaluate how well they can translate their content research into a design that shares this information visually.
My students will need the assistance of the teacher and paraprofessionals throughout the process of the project. My students face cognitive and physical challenges that their non-disabled peers do not and this is why they will need extra support.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Math Students could also put together mini math books with their favorite math problems with the use of pictures as manipulatives.

Science/Social Skills: In pairs, students could choose their favorite classroom experiment for the year and create a book with the steps to the experiment including the problem statement, hypothesis, procedures and results. In addition, they could create a cover for this as well. Pairs would share with their peers and work
Upon completing their book covers based on the Unique Learning story, the students will be able to create their own book. The book will be published and illustrated by the student and then shared with the class in a class discussion. Student's will give feedback on their peers work and comment on what they liked most.
Materials: Mobile Labs, Art Tools, Printers, Flash/USB Drives, LCD Monitors, Power, Keyboards, Headsets, Reading, Writing, Books, Word Processor, Authoring and Publishing, Clip Art, Autism