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This curriculum unit is designed to teach children's literature to students with developmental disabilities, using children's picture books and films adapted from those books. Developmental disabilities include mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome, and spina bifida. Children's picture books offer an introduction to literacy in a non-threatening atmosphere through vibrant colors and lively illustrations. The books will include folktales and fantasy stories about talking animals, stories with moral lessons, and stories about friendship and family. The films consist both of live action and animated versions. With intensive instructions using reading comprehension strategies, children can achieve basic reading skills. Word recognition strategies such as sight words, phonetic analysis, syntactic analysis, and semantic analysis will be used to strengthen their oral and written vocabulary skills. Activities will include reading aloud, shared reading, completing story maps, working with graphic organizers, exploring web sites, and making personal pictures books using digital cameras. Some of the elements of stories the students are expected to learn and identify are: themes, plot lines, main characters, settings, types of conflicts, problems, solutions, comparison and contrast. The curriculum unit will meet the standards of the Houston Independent School District's Functional Academic Curriculum for Exceptional Students (F.A.C.E.S.) Language Arts Module.
(Developed for Language Arts, Middle School grades; recommended for Language Arts and Life Skills, Middle School grades, and Language Arts, grades K-2)