Recommended age group: 7–11
Time required: two or three 45–60 minute sessions
Equipment: Paralympic heroes resources.
This is a great opportunity for the children to experience the Paralympic Value of equality. Tell the children to imagine that disabled athletes have volunteered to visit schools around the country to demonstrate and play their sports with them. If they think a visit from one of these athletes would inspire them the children need to decide which athlete they will invite so that he or she can demonstrate their sport and play it with them if appropriate.
Having made their choices the children, in project teams (which could be a whole class) tour their school and check out whether their chosen visitor will be able to access all the facilities and spaces inside and outside the school, thus helping to make them feel welcome and equal.
On the basis of their findings the children come up with a range of ideas and suggestions that will make it easier for their visitor to tour the school and access all the facilities.
There are three tasks for project teams to complete. These will help them to gather the information they need to prepare their final presentations.
Get set to meet the athletes (Activity sheet 1)
- The first task is for each team (or class) to decide which athlete they would invite to school. Using Activity Sheet 1 ask them to read about the athletes and their sports. Discuss with them the specific needs of each of the disabled athletes mentioned. For example, how would athletes with a visual impairment find their own way along your school’s corridors, and could a wheelchair user get through doors and access facilities in the dining hall and cloakrooms?
- In their project teams (or as a class) ask them to research some of the sports mentioned and to find out
about other sports played by athletes with similar impairments.
- Conclude this task by asking children to decide which young athlete they would like to invite to their school so that they can find out more about that athlete’s sport.
Get set to play your chosen sport (Activity Sheet 2)
- Children find out as much as they can about the sport played by their chosen athlete so that they would be ready to play it with them.
- Activity Sheet 2 asks children to consider the equipment and number of players required to play the sport and the space needed. They also need to explain how to play the sport.
Get set to go fact finding (Activity Sheet 3)
- Tell the children to imagine that their visitor will arrive by car. She or he will spend the day at school. They will have lunch with you and would like a tour of the school. They will demonstrate their sport and if there is time will invite some children to play with them. In preparation for their visit project teams need to be sure that their visitor will be able to move around the school safely and easily. This includes being able to get into classrooms, the dining hall, the gym or hall, changing facilities, toilets and outdoor areas.
- Children need to consider the specific needs of their chosen visitor. Armed with this information they then take a detailed tour of the school imagining that their visitor is with them. How easy would it be for
their visitor to get around the school? What improvements can they suggest that might make it easier and safer for their guest? As they walk around the school ask them to jot down, on Activity Sheet 3, any improvements they think could be made to make access better for their visitor. They can suggest large building projects like building a ramp outside the school as well as simpler solutions like moving clutter from a corridor.
- From their list of ideas and suggestions project teams select four of their best suggestions for improving the school to make it more accessible and safer for their visitor. They take photographs of (or draw) the areas of school that they feel could be improved and say what they will do to improve each of them
Get set to write your presentation (Activity Sheet 4)
- Having gathered all the information needed it’s time for project teams to write their presentations.
- Children can chose how they present their ideas and what to include. Activity Sheet 4 provides suggestions about what they might choose to include e.g. photographs, videos, drawings and annotated diagrams.
MAKE IT ACTIVE
Have a go at your chosen Paralympian's sport. You can use the What is Goalball or What is Boccia resources to explore new Paralympic sports, or find out more about Paralympic sports with ParalympicsGB.