I need some help coming up with art projects for my severely physically and mentally handicapped students. I have four students that come to my class. One is able to work somewhat independently and the other three are pretty much hand over hand.
I don't know how old your students are, but here are some ideas. You sort of have to think out of the box, and yes, you will have to do things hand over hand. Severely handicapped children work well with sensory things. Make collages out of packing peanuts. Mix macaroni (raw) in paint, have them mix and and glue it onto paper. Use rice to create a music instrument. Skip the paint brushes, let them do it with fingers... have fun!
last year I had them finger paint on the huge BB paper--I hung it on the easel for some of them--I only allowed one or 2 colors at a time with drying time between to avoid the "mud" looking swirls. Then I cut interesting shapes out of coordinating solid colors to mat the picture with--the outline of a flower shape (cut like a snowflake would be), a kite shape, etc. The pics were beautiful and Spring looking and easy to do.
That is another great idea. I have had them paint before but always with brushes. I only have the kids for 20 mins. twice a week so clean-up is a real issue.
Keep the ideas coming! I need all that I can get. Not only do I have this class of four but I also teach two other special needs classes. One that has eight 5th-7th graders and another with five K-4 students. All of the students in the larger class are able to do a lot of things on their own.
How about creating with modeling clay...there are some great ones like eraser clay, it can be cut with cookie cutters, then made into erasers
Very fun. Also, I had a 19 year old student, about the same level you are describing, no one had ever tried beading with him. We gave it a try, and he loved every part of beading, and we even developed some really fun counting/sorting games with him. His mom complained though, she said he wouldn't stop beading everything!! Good luck.
I had to do patterning activities one time that resulted in an actual object so I thought about doing bead bracelets, etc. All of my kids have fine motor issues so I used pipe cleaners with the plastic beads rather than string or yarn--almost all of them could do some portion of it alone if not all of it. They also looked pretty even if only a few beads were present and were easier to hook around their arms.
I teach preschool special ed. They are also severe. I do alot of marble painting. I put a piece of paper with a few marbles and drops of paint in a shoebox. The can shake the box, rock it back and forth, up and down, etc. Open the box and see what they made! I usually cut a pattern out before or after that goes with our theme. We also use dot painters (like the bingo markers). The are "fat" and easy for them to grasp. Sensory activities are also great for this population. Have fun!
Shapes of paper through out the year for art projects. You can teach lots of language just through the shape of the paper you use.
Sept-- circles, no corners
Oct-- rectangle, introduction to corners
November-- pennant shapes, leads from left to right; can lead to leaf shape
December-- triangle; reminds you of tree shape
January- square; basis for making a snowflake; circle fits in square and triangle fits in square' 2 rectangles equal a square
March- diamond shape; reminds you of kite
April- oval; reminds you of eggs
June-- large sheets to make murals
Different types of art projects to consider:
COLLAGE-- all one color; all soft items; all wood; nature items; tear paper; all material; confetti from hole punch; Valentine colors; smells--buy large jars of spices
Bases for collages-- paper plates, matboard, cereal boxes, styrofoam, wood, cardboard shoebox lids; burlap
CHALK AND CRAYONS-- chalk on dark paper, chalk dipped in starch on dark paper, outside on sidewalk, tape crayons together to make rainbow; rubbings of tennis shoes, leaves; rub on sandpaper
FINGERPAINT- add liquid laundry starch to tempera; add liquid starch to soap flakes, glass wax, shaving cream on cookie sheets
SCULPTURES- clay meat tray with styrofoam and toothpicks, pipecleaners, toilet paper rolls, wooden pieces, sugar cubes with colored glue
PAINTING-- roll marbles in paint and on paper, roll hotwheel cars in paint on paper, dip yarn in paint and pull through folded paper; drop paint by eye dropper on to coffee filters, colored glue, blow up balloons dip in paint and on to paper, put rice in sock and dip sock in paint and drop on to mural paper on ground
BRUSHES FOR THE EASEL-- cotton squabs, feathers, soft body scrubber, dish scrubber, paintroller, roll up newspaper and tape and cut down to make brush, pipe cleaners, foam brushes; clothespin that holds small sponge,
PRINTING- use cookie cutters, corncob roll, sponge around leaves, dip toilet rolls in paint, sponge painting, object printing, bingo markers; Duplo blocks , pieces of bubblewrap, soapcatcher with suckers,
PAPERS to USE-- foil, coffee filters, tissue paper, wallpaper books, paper bags, mailing brown paper, wax paper, flingerpainting slick paper, butcher paper, adding machine tape, boxes, graph paper, doilies, envelopes, old giftwrap, shopping bags.
Why teach art?
release of energy
fine motor skills
devleops cognitive skills
develops language skills
promote self understanding
teaches cause and effect
develops work habits
promotes problem solving
This is what I have in my art corner for the parents who don't understand the importance of art in their child's life.
DTLK has preschool art projects of all kinds. Have another student read a short story to them and link it to an art project. Walk them through the alphbet with tactile art work. Example B for beans. Make pictures with beans. LATCH-HOOK is repeditive, practices motor skills and eye-hand coordination, plus that have something really neat to take home. Pottery and sand art are good tactile options too.
Wow, so many great ideas. Please keep them coming.
I have tried painting with them using adaptive brushes, sponges, cars and marbles. They like the marbles because I use pringles cans and they like the sound that it makes.
The problem with my kids (only four of them) is that they are so low that they are really not interested in anything. Another big problem is that they eat everything that I give them. The OT told me to let them paint with pudding but I don't want to encourage them to eat things in the art room.
Many have suggested fingerpainting. How do you handle the mess?
Michelle- I used the bingo markers with my kids today and they loved them!
Although you want the students to physically touch and feel the art materials at least some of the time, you also want them to have some independent control of their products. Students who require hand over hand should be using some type of assistive technology and augmentative communication throughout their day. Talk to the sped teacher. My students who have no or very limited functional/controlled movement use switches to:
cut with battery operated scissors (great for collage)
blow paint with a fan or hair dryer (can be used with stencils)
operate a spin art machine (they make a glow in the dark one!)
operate a pottery wheel
move remote control cars with markers mounted on them in a way that allows the kids to "color"
They use augmentative communication materials/devices to:
request more of a material
request the color/item/material they want to use
comment on their work/their friends' work (awesome, this if fun! GROSS!)
tell a partner/adult where/how to place items when creating something
I do this with kids who have nothing more than random, side-to-side head movements in the beginning. By placing the switches appropriately and helping them learn to do things independently, they learn to use their switches more intentionally. Every student has some movement that can be used to activate a switch - hand, arm, leg, foot, finger, head, tongue, eye-gaze, breathing -- you can always find something. Ask the sped teacher about what they're doing in class. You can also ask to have the assistive tech person come in to offer ideas/advice. It's amazing how proud even the lowest functioning students are when they realize that they did their own work!
Put some food colouring in the bubble solution place in an ice cream containeer place paper over the top and get the students to blow through a straw. I have done this with low level students and they loved it even students who are unable to do this can choose through AAC devices.
-a box lid or tray (something to keep the ball from rolling out)
-paper cut to the size of your box lid or tray (close, but not exact)
-paint (2-3 colors)
-a ball or two (e.g. large marble, heavy rubber ball, metal ball)
-wet wipes (or wet paper towels) to clean hands (have them handy,
out, & ready to use)
1. Write name on BACK of the paper first. Then place paper into lid or tray.
2. Squirt (or pour) a few small puddles of paint (tempra works well) onto the paper.
3. Place 1 or 2 balls into the tray or lid.
4. Gently tilt the tray or lid back & forth, to & fro to paint with the balls.
5. Remove balls when your painting is "done."
6. Wipe hands.
7. Remove painting & hang or lay to dry.
You could attach a paint stir-stick to the underside of the lid or tray (so that it looks sort of like a shovel--you've made a "handle" to operate the "paint-roller-ball-lid").
Then, place the tray onto a ball or other surface that allows the tray to pivot. (you could offer gentle assistance)
This makes it easier for a student with physical limitations to participate with less help or independently "paint" a picture.
Last edited by Shari; 06-27-2008 at 08:56 PM..
Cut pieces of vegetbles such as mushrooms, carrots, celery, pumpkin and cucumber. Provide students with a large piece of paper dip vegetables in paint and press onto paper. This is a good one to do when you are doing healthy living.
I'm working with the same level students at the 1st through 5th grade levels. Just found your web site --- I'm always looking for more ideas to work with!!!
With my severely handicapped students, I use a lot of stencils for them to trace around for cutting and painting/coloring in. I break the shapes down to the simplest shapes -- they have to cut each piece and put back together ---- same for a painted/colored image.
Trace around stencils with dark color crayons or black ink pens so students can see the shape to paint/color inside or cut out.
Simple repeated movement in painting helps with hand strength and control --- dabbing, brush one way, etc.
I try to incorporate a letter, number, paint color, etc., into what we are working on for memory reinforcement.
Pre-cut little circles and squares that are pre-purchased are used to create repeated patterns in borders as well as simple stamps in ink pads or tempera paint. Patterning is always good practice! - and may be used in many ways.
I have to say that shaving foam is THE most popular activity that I do in my art class. (I work in a school for autistic children).Allthough you will not get any "product" with the activity the process is well worth it.
It really depends what your desired outcome is, wither the school wants things to put on the wall, things to take home, develop motor skils or develop art vocab.
Some activities that I start off with with new students are:
1. clay, or if they are the type that likes to eat.. salt dough. it gives a good measure odf motor skills and it is tactile.
2. sticking things to contact paper. quite simple, I often do this activity in spring after going on a wak to collect petals etc you can also cut the paper into shapes and they make good window decorations.
3. widow decortions with pva glue. this needs a lillt prep, where you paint a thick layer of pva glue onto a plastic bag. Then get get the children to add food colours/watered down paint and glue onto. when the glue drys clear you are left with only the swirls of paint. it is very effective.
4. drawing on sandpaper
5. paint with thin paint/food colouring and throw salt on afterwards.
Tools that i find useful are:
Turkey baster: This tools is amazing for those children who do not have fine motor skills. they can grab and squeeze the blub to draw up lots of materials, paper pulp, waterred down paint, ink. My favourite is to use turkey basters with paper pulp. Then decant the paper pulp into a cookie cutter mould and it creates fun shaped paper. (A very good activity for christmas usuing christmas shapes).
water spray bottles: I always have a water spray bottle at hand. not only can you use it to spray watered down paint, colouring, ink onto surfaces, but the kids love the sensation of the water being sprayed on their hands and it makes "cleaning" more fun, as nearly all my art activities are messy!
always remember that the canvas doesnt have to be paper and the medium doesnt always have to be paint!
I struggle with ideas for my severely handicapped elementary students with special needs (mostly autism), too. I want to use all of these ideas, but my kiddos are mainstreamed in with regular ed students. Any suggestions for how to handle this situation? I don't think I can handle working 2 different activities simultaneously.
My students are in art with the general ed classes as well. With our students we do our own project, because they are very low and can not do what the other kids are doing. So instead of worring about the regular assignment maybe you can do a different activity that is on the childs level. Also another thing we do is when the kids in general ed are finished with thier work they come over and help our students. Hope this helps
1. Teacher puts shaving cream on a flat surface.
2. Student explores white shaving cream.
3. Teacher adds a few drops of one or two colors (food coloring or liquid water coloring).
4. Student mixes the colors into the shaving cream (vary time spent on mixing for exciting results).
5. Student washes hands.
6. Teacher or student writes name on back of cardstock paper (thin paper like a file folder).
7. Teacher or student places front side of cardstock paper on top of shaving cream.
8. Teacher or student pushes on the back of the cardstock paper, pressing the shaving cream out towards each edge - using hands, fingers and a solid plactic scraper (like a credit card).
9. Teacher or student lifts up cardstock paper to reveal the "product."
When teaching at a Christian preschool we used this method at Easter and added a masking tape cross to the front of the paper before the child placed it on top of the shaving cream. When the shaving cream dried the tape was removed and the paper was cut into the shape of an egg.
This same method can be used for many teaching concepts. Place masking tape in the shape of "M" on front before "painting" for letter recognition reinforcement.
It's my first year teaching art, with 16 years in regular classroom. I have a TMH class of 13 weekly and struggled at first. So far, their favorite things have been:
* Painting a dot of the primary colors with balloons, then adding red to yellow, blue to yellow, and red to blue. They all mixed with their fingers. Cleans up in seconds with baby wipes.
* Using a spin art machine, some with switches for assisted operation, and 2 with gazing boards to choose which colors to add in which order. No clean up.
* Creating Mondrian-inspired collages using pre-cut rectangles that they placed on clear contact paper, sticky side up, then covered with white paper and flipped over to see the result. No clean up.
* Mixing primary paint colors (2) in a sealed ziplock bag. No clean up.
* Using sticker books that feature a whole-page face on which they stick their choice of facial features. No clean up. I think they are Melissa & Doug brand.
*Try recruiting "regular ed" students to assist with assistive technology. They learn the value of your special ed students and are amazed at what they can do!