An egg splashes as it falls into a glass of water.
Activity

Gravity Unit for Students with Multiple Disabilities

This unit on gravity is designed for high school-aged students with a variety of ability levels.

By Helen Benton, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Background

In my high school class at TSBVI, I served two students with CVI (one print user, and one who uses pictures and videos for instructional purposes), one DeafBlind student who uses print and intervener services, and one student with no vision who uses tactile symbols and auditory information. We were also a hybrid classroom due to COVID-19, so some of the students had access to school over Zoom, and some were in my classroom. 

To learn more about gravity, we had a week of science lessons which culminated in an “egg drop” experiment.

Instructional Considerations

In a previous article, I outlined instructional considerations for teaching inclusive science lessons to students with visual and multiple impairments. Here is how we incorporated some of the considerations:

Gravity Unit

Introduction to Gravity

Introduction to the concept of gravity. As discussed above, be sure to discuss relevant examples from the student’s own experiences.

What is gravity?

Explore https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/gravity/.

Watch the video Let’s Fly! Crash Course.

Gravity and the Human Body

Watch the video with Jay Buckey on TED Ed.

Description: Our bodies function necessarily under the presence of gravity; how blood pumps, a sense of balance and bone growth are all due to life in a world where gravity is an inescapable reality. Armed with experiments from neuroscientists David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel, astronaut Jay Buckey presents a thought experiment: How would our bodies work without the force of gravity?

How do geckos defy gravity? – Eleanor Nelsen

Watch the video on TED Ed.

Description: Geckos aren’t covered in adhesives or hooks or suction cups, and yet they can effortlessly scale vertical walls and hang from ceilings. What’s going on? Eleanor Nelsen explains how geckos’ phenomenal feet allow them to defy gravity.

Writing Assignment

Homework Assignment

Creating the “egg spaceship”

Encourage students to be creative in their approach. Keep in mind the instructional considerations above, especially in the use of materials.

Return to Accessible Science main page.

Collage of gravity unit for students with visual impairments and multiple disabilities
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Student fingers on the Monarch. APH's photo.
Article

Making math more accessible: Monarch’s Word processor

Cartoon caterpillar on a half eaten leaf reading a book.
Activity

Butterflies part 1: Caterpillars

Monarch multiline braille display
Article

Graphing with the Monarch and Desmos