Art Beyond Sight
Social, Communication, and Independent Living Skills
through the Arts Curriculum
■ Activity Plan ■
(Song lyrics and audio & bibliography included)
- Activity Plan Overview
- Activity Plan 1: Great relationships start with hello
- Activity Plan 2: Ice Breaker and Small Talk
- Activity Plan 3: A two way street
- Activity Plan 4: From Casual to Formal Conversation
- Activity Plan 5: Handling difficult situations and conflict resolution
- Activity Plan 6: Nonverbal communication and tips for your tics
- Activity Plan 7: Strike a pose! Field trip to the museum
- Activity Plan 8: Making our Self-portrait
- Activity Plan 9: The Art of Dressing
- Activity Plan 10: Making a Fashion Statement
- Activity Plan 11: Personal Narrative: Writing your story
- Activity Plan 12: A Collaborative Song Writing Activity
- Activity Plan 13: Preparing an interview
- Activity Plan 14: Meet a stranger: an exploration of the interview process
- Activity Plan 15: Let's prepare our own Talk Show!
- Final Event
- Songs by Brian Muni
- Making an impression – When meeting someone new for the first time, a person wants to make an impression, meaning that they want to leave the new person with a little picture of who they are. It is best to make a good impression, which is a picture showing off one’s best qualities, such as kindness, friendliness, and attentiveness.
- Having a strong presence – To have a strong presence means that you act in a respectable, polite manner that is hard to ignore. When someone has a strong presence, it is easy to get an idea of who they are. It has nothing to do with the physical body, but how someone carries himself or herself and behaves.
- Breaking the ice – Often when two people begin talking to one another, there is a shyness or embarrassment, usually over not knowing what to say or worrying they will not get along. Breaking the ice is the point when this shyness or embarrassment goes away by the start of a great discussion or a found comfort in one another.
- Small talk – When meeting someone new or when conversing with someone you know very little about, it is best to make small talk. Small talk is light, polite conversation about easy, uncontroversial subjects. This kind of conversation is very informal and just for the sake of speaking with the other person.
- Being a team player – When part of a group, it is important to always do your work, encourage your partners, and share your ideas. This is being a team player. A team player is concerned with the success of the group instead of focusing on his or her individual success.
- Social skills – Social skills are any abilities that a person has to interact with and relate to others. These skills are both verbal and nonverbal. They include knowing the right thing to say and how to behave in different situations.
- Communication skills – Communication skills are any abilities a person has to share information so that is well received and understood by others.
- Standing tall - It is important to stand tall when speaking with someone. Standing tall means that you show that you are proud of and believe in what you are talking about through your body language. This may include facing the person, keeping your shoulders back, and arms uncrossed. By standing tall you want the person you are speaking with to believe what you have to say about a topic. Even if others have a different opinion, it is important to stick by your belief.
- Having a good carriage – Having good carriage means holding your body in a way that shows you respect yourself. It includes standing up tall, keeping your shoulders back and your chin up.
- Eye contact – Eye contact is a way to communicate and connect with someone without using words. To make eye contact, it is necessary to look someone in the eyes, or to direct your face to someone’s voice. This shows that you are listening to them or that what you are saying is important.
- Body language – Body language is a way to communicate with someone without using words, but instead using the body. Our bodies can show what we are feeling by gestures, posture, facial expressions, and movements. For example, a frown can mean sadness, and clenched fists can mean anger.
- Voice projection – Voice projection is the ability to make your voice loud and clear enough for others to easily hear and understand. When speaking, it is important to monitor the volume of your voice. It should not be so soft that it is unheard, or so loud that it is overwhelming to the listener.
- Speaking with your hands – To speak with your hands means to use hand movements and gestures to accompany what you are verbally saying. This shows that you are involved in the conversation and excited about what you are saying.
- Articulate – To articulate is the ability to put a thought or feeling into words in a way that the listener can easily understand what you mean.
- Critique/ to critique – A critique is a review of something, such as a book, presentation, or piece of artwork. To critique something, it is necessary to tell what was done well, what needs to be fixed, what you liked, and what you did not like. A critique is meant to be helpful.
Sharon Zell-Sacks, Quechee Vermont, Keynote, 2004;
Welcoming Students with Visual Impairment to Your School, Perkins School for the Blind
Development of Social Skills by Blind and Visually Impaired Students: Exploratory Studies and Strategies. Edited by Robert J. Gaylord-Ross, Linda S. Kekelis, Sharon Z. Sacks, Ph.D.
Focused On: Importance and Need for Social Skills By Sharon Z. Sacks, Ph.D., Karen E. Wolffe, Ph.D.
Social Skills Development: Practical Strategies for Adolescents and Adults with Developmental Disabilities, by Stephen Antonello
Social Skills and Public Speaking
Borgenicht, David. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Junior Edition. J 646.7 B
Brown, Marc Tolon. Arthur Meets the President. J FIC B
Detz, Joan. You Mean I have to Stand Up and Say Something? J 808.51 D
Otfinoski, Steve. Speaking Up, Speaking Out: A Kids Guide to Making Speeches, Oral Reports and Conversation. J 808.61 O
Pinkwater, Daniel Mannus. Bad Bears Go Visiting. J FIC P
Sesyle, Joslin. What Do You Say, Dear? J E J