A to Z Autism Visual Learning Gallery Walk | 123Read&Write

My students investigated and researched many areas regarding autism. All of their work was put on display at the local Barnes and Noble bookstore to raise money and awareness for Retts Syndrome. It’s simple to see in the photo below of our inspiration. Many of these activities are from the Harvard Project Zero Making Learning Visible Project and Ron Ritchhart. These activities are notated as such. The other activities I’ve created and are also notated.

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The activities showcased at Barnes and Noble are showcased below.

True for Who? 

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 Harvard Project Zero Making Learning Visible Project and Ron Ritchhart.

Zoom In 

 Harvard Project Zero Making Learning Visible Project and Ron Ritchhart.

Lyric, Image, Explain

This was a challenging and rewarding activity for the students. They listened to a variety of songs (along with the lyrics). They had to choose lines, which they could imagine a child with autism saying (or wishing they could express). They listed their chosen lyrics on sticky notes. Then, they chose four distinct lines that they felt they could put in chronological sequence to make a storyboard, from an autistic child’s perspective.

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Brian Dalton (c) 2014

Upon Further Inspection

For this activity, the students researched findings with regards to Vitamin A. Upon research they found that often, children who are on the autistic spectrum are deficient in Vitamin A. 

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Brian Dalton (c) 2014

A Cloud of Questions

For this activity, the students were given an article related to how best to work with and educate a child on the autistic spectrum, within a classroom setting. Their task was to highlight the topic sentence in each paragraph and then turn the topic sentence into a question. Then, those questions were researched and answered from the article. 

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Brian Dalton (c) 2014

The Garden of Hope

The students ran a donation table to fill out a Retts flower to continue building our classroom Garden of Hope. The one on display from the Barnes and Noble night, along with its explanation is shown below.

Help us "plant" flowers to raise awareness and research funds for Rett Syndrome. This is our Garden of Hope. We need you to help our Garden of Hope grow!

For a $1 donation, we’ll write your name on the flower to go in our garden and eventually in Mr. D’s classroom, where he hopes to cover his entire wall!  Together these flowers create a "Garden of Hope."

Watch us GROW these funds into even more money for research! This disease can and will be cured.

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Bulls Eye

For Bulls Eye, the students worked with a non fiction article regarding a CNN hero and her work with the autistic community. An excerpt can be seen below:

Dr. Wendy Ross is opening new worlds to autistic children and their families. Her nonprofit, Autism Inclusion Resources, has helped hundreds of families navigate challenging social situations such as sporting events, museum visits and airport travel.

For the full article, click here.

For the activity, the students filled in the bulls eye template. The outer rings were general ideas and facts fromt the article. Then, as they worked closer to the “bulls eye,” they got to the root of the article. In this case, the article’s main premise (according to my students) is the attempt to allow families with autistic children an opportunity to experience a normal life, in public settings. 

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Brian Dalton (c) 2014

See, Think, Wonder

The students simply looked at an abstract picture of a child stuck behind clouded glass. Simply by looking at this photograph, they discussed how this image may relate to the life of an autistic child.

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 Harvard Project Zero Making Learning Visible Project and Ron Ritchhart.

Tug of War

This was a research based activity where the students investigated the possible correlation between vaccinations and the rise in autism cases over recent years. Then, they highlighted, what they believed, was the strongest argument. These arguments were placed on the Tug of War poster. In the end, the results (for my classes) were 50 arguments (no correlation) to 31 arguments (positive correlation).

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 Harvard Project Zero Making Learning Visible Project and Ron Ritchhart.

Color, Symbol, Image

For this activity, the students took an inspirational quote, with regards to autism, and created a bookmark representing its meaning with a color, symbol, and image. For example, one quote stated, “same bricks, same road, different path.” Therefore, the student’s bookmark would represent the meaning of that particular quote.

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 Harvard Project Zero Making Learning Visible Project and Ron Ritchhart.

Step Inside

In Step Inside, the my classes watched a video of Carly, an autistic girl who never spoke, until one day she typed a few prophetic words into a computer. While watching this video, my students had to put themselves into the shoes of four different people (doctor, Carly, sibling, parent). The Carly video is provided below, as well as a quick clip of my students working on this activity.

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 Harvard Project Zero Making Learning Visible Project and Ron Ritchhart.

Think, Puzzle, Explore

This strategy is actually where my students and I began our journey. Think, Puzzle, Explore is simply a way for my students to get together to brainstorm and discuss a particular topic; in this case the topic of autism.

 Harvard Project Zero Making Learning Visible Project and Ron Ritchhart.

The Visualization Game

The students watched a couple movie trailers (seen below), which had a character suffering from some form of autism. They had to take notes from the trailer of symbols they believed were important to the movie’s main theme. Then, they created idea cubes to showcase those symbols.

 Harvard Project Zero Making Learning Visible Project and Ron Ritchhart.

Open Up to Symbolism

With this activity, the students watched a movie trailer for the documentary titled, For the Love of Dogs (trailer below.) From this, they chose four key symbols that they thought were connected to the thematic elements of the documentary. They then created in interactive diamond to showcase these symbols.

Brian Dalton (c) 2014

The Book Table

My students also gave speeches with regards to books which contained a character with autistic tendencies. These books were then showcased at a book table, where they were for sale. Some of the books are shown (and for sale) below.