This year we have had a focus on people of all types. From artists to scientists and chefs to activists and everything in between. The mom’s in our co-op have put together great activities and the kids have presented on a collection of different people that have fit those categories. I should have saved the projects for all of them, but this year had TOO many types of projects going on and I could not collect them all. 
I did plan and save my favorite studies. “People of Different Abilities”. We learned some ASL and talked about the well known ones, like Helen Keller of course. And the most noticeable differing abilities such as being blind, or missing limbs. We also discussed the invisible ones, like social anxieties and prosopagnosia (face blindness). 

We learned about the Victorian Era Artist, Sarah Biffin, who was born with no arms and only some of her legs. She first had to deal with the difficultly of being a female artist in that time period, where males were more prominent. She also had to do all of her art with her mouth. We were given the task of painting with anything except our fingers. The kids could use their mouth, the toes or attach the brush to their wrists with tape or pipe cleaners. 
It was quite the task and I decided to take it on as well. I used my toes and was pretty proud of my accomplishments. I was able to tie in my left handed period when I lost the ability to use my right arm. Thankfully I still had my left hand, but I had to learn to use it. It was not my dominant side, but I learned to make it work. 
Many people are born with disabilities and adapt and learn as the grow. Others are met with the change later in life and have to relearn. What it taught is that these things can be overcome and there are ways to do what you love. Sometimes you just have to learn a new way. I think it is an important lesson for us all to learn, as many get stuck in our ways. Should we try something new? Is the old way not working? Keep on trying! Someone else has probably already faced a similar challenge that you can learn from. Can we possibly learn from them? 
Learning from all these people can really make us grow. 

For our final project, we had to find a person with a disability and tell the group about them and how they adapted. The girls made file folder people for their chosen people. All the information was inside when they opened the file folder. I was inspired by a lapbook, using the folder for the torso and adding a head and legs. the day was very windy, but we made it work. Project photos forgotten. 
Evie did Daniel Durant, an actor who is deaf and she watched on Dancing with the Stars. He had to watch for hand cues to start and feeling the music, as well as trust his partner. 
Isla did Jane Goodall who suffered from prosopagnosia, which is face blindness. She has to focus on very distinct features so that she might be able to correctly identify human faces. There was also a level of embarrassment to get over, especially with all the people she had to meet. Perhaps it is something to look into if you have trouble recognizing people. Or if someone does not recognize you, perhaps they are not trying to be rude. Remembering names though, that’s a whole other problem, that may be because it is not prioritized enough for you to remember. I remember names, I just swap all the siblings in my classes and cannot get a hang of it!

We learned a lot from this unit, and this whole year with all the people we have covered. It has taught us all so much. 

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