Mapping the Neighborhood Using KWL Strategies
Use the template below to create a fun and engaging class activity for students with autism. By allowing them to map their neighborhood using KWL strategies, teachers will find that they know more than what they're showing in the classroom. By allowing them to read and do research on their own neighborhood, teachers can increase their reading and comprehensive skills. Read on to see how KWL strategies can map your autistic students' neighborhood and increase his/her reading skills in the process.
Mapping Seattle: A KWL Lesson Plan
K – What You Know, W – What You Want to Learn and L – What You've Learned
Mapping Seattle, Washington: Your Neighborhood
What's in your city or your neighborhood: Make a list of the fun attractions in your immediate neighbor (i.e., local parks, nearby schools, interesting neighborhood history, age of your house, fun facts on the street where you live and nearest community center). Students can use the Internet to research this information, conduct neighborhood interviews with neighbors who have lived in the community for a long time (parents can help by going with them to conduct interviews), and create a poster with defined topics researched and information gathered for each topic area clearly labeled on the poster board — posting neighborhood pictures would be great, so giving students a $9.99 camera to take pictures is another great idea for this activity.
- Neighborhood Name: Greenlake Villa
- Local Parks: Greenwood, Greenlake
- Nearby Schools: Greenwood Elementary, Mercer Middle School, Nathan Hale
- Interesting Neighborhood History: research history of Greenlake — major two mile walking trail around a man-made lake
- Age of your house: Built in 1911, four previous owners; Your family has lived in the house for the past five years.
- Neighbor Interviews: Start with the oldest neighbor and end with the youngest. Ask basic non-identifying questions such as "How long have you lived in the neighborhood?" and "What do you like best about the neighborhood?" and "Least?"
Have students create visual posters of what they have learned and then present their project to the class. Imagine how much reading students with autism will do in this active learning project. Students will be able to work on communication skills, collaborative engagement, writing skills, and research and reading skills. KWL strategies can be powerful learning tools in creating reading based projects for students with autism.
Essay — Authentic Author Content