7th-Grade Students Celebrate Individuals with Disabilities
Awareness, acceptance, inclusion. These values are at the core of the 7th-Grade Disability Project. Each year, in April, students complete an Independent Research Project about an individual with a disability.
Each year, in April, students complete an Independent Research Project about an individual with a disability. Students select an individual to research that is of interest to them. Selections range from models to athletes to historical figures and each has a physical, cognitive, or other type of disability or condition.
Beyond researching disabilities, students are focusing on the perseverance and achievements of each individual. Seventh-grader Sahana, researched Jillian Mercado, a model, and actress with Muscular Dystrophy. Mercado has modeled for companies that include Target, Nordstrom, and Olay, and styled for Beyonce. She is an activist for the differently-abled and minority communities.
Students spend one month working on this project. Beginning with the research stage, students learn how to locate quality and accurate sources, take research notes, and create a bibliography of their sources. Next, students write a research paper about their chosen individual. In the writing stage, students complete multiple drafts, undergo revisions, and peer editiing.
The second half of the project is spent creating their Google Slides presentations and brochures before presenting to their peers and families who were able to join in via Google Meets. Students researched individuals that included - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jennifer Anniston, Jessica Long, Billie Ellish, and more.
When asked about her favorite part of this project, Middle School Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Slack shared, "It's cool getting to see students learn more about individuals they are interested in. Through their research, students are able to relate to the struggles and accomplishments of individuals with disabilities. Students discover that a disability does not define you and have greater respect for individuals with differences."
This Barnesville Signature project is perfectly timed with Autism Awareness Month, a month where all Barnesville students celebrate and stand up for inclusion. Well done Seventh Graders!