A7 Activities KS 2 3 & 4 Language and disabled people

1i. Following a discussion with the class about who are disabled people, students in groups, write down with felt pens on a large sheet of paper, all the words they have ever heard about disabled people.
1ii After sharing their information ask the groups to identify those words that are positive or neutral, by circling in a different colour. If they are unsure, ask them to think about how they might like to be known if they were a disabled person.
1iii Ask the groups to count up negative and neutral/positive word. 1.iv Ask the groups to try and explain their results.
2. Hold a class discussion on name calling, how hurtful this feels and why they should not use these words.
3. Check the origins of some of the words they have found to be negative. Allocate 1 or 2 words to each group to find out the origins and then plan a 30 second to 1 minute presentation on where the word came from and why not to use it to name-call or label disabled people. These can then be shared with the class or an assembly. This approach can be extended to other forms of verbal harassment such as homophobic, sexist, racist, poverty. [A list of common derivations or original meanings can be found at Resource sheet :The origin of negative words associated with disability]
4i In Modern Languages, working in groups and using dictionaries, look up the words commonly in use for disabled people, mental health/mad, blind, deaf, learning difficulty in Spanish, German, French etc. 4ii Copy these down and compare them across the different languages.
4iii Ask the groups to discuss if they can find any pattern in the roots and original meanings.
4iv Hold a class discussion on whether language can give a clue to how disabled people were thought of-attitudes to disabled people.

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