Understanding and Personal Empowerment

In my social action project, I use literacy to help my students relate to the actions of what a bully does. We conclude that a bully makes bad choices, which include hitting, punching, and taking other people's food. Then, the students and I explore and discuss strategies they can use if someone bullies them, what they can do if they find that they are being the bully, and what choices we want them to make every day (i.e. good choices!). In working with a general ed classroom, I was also able to read them the story and get their feedback about bullies as well. 

Working in a 3rd and 4th grade autism classroom, I have noticed that my students not only lack the social skills of their typically developing peers, but they also are not accepted by and are separated from them. A few students in my classroom are known to be bullied on the bus, and I know the R word is in a lot of the general ed (and special ed) student's vocabulary. This social justice project is also combined with an action research portion which asks the question "How does peer modeling from typically developing peers benefit students with disabilities?" On this journey, my students and a partnering general ed classroom will learn from and interact with each other, combating the norm of isolation/separation that a lot of special education students face in their school careers.