Material Type:
Assessment, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan, Media Object, Reading
Middle School, High School
  • Lesson Plan
  • may22
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Disability Awareness

    Disability Awareness


    This lesson plan was created for middle school or high school special educators to use for their peer tutors. This lesson plan may be used by teachers to teach their peer tutors how to create a digital story on disability awareness in conjunction with a disability that they have previously researched. It may also be used in a social studies class where students have previously studied civil rights, equality, and education laws.


    Students will be creating a 3-5 minute digital story (video) on disability awareness. They will present on a disability that they have previously researched.

    • Time frame - students will have two weeks to complete the assignment
    • Format - digital story (video)


    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

    Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

    Learning intention:

    Students will be able to understand how to and create a digital story about a specific disability that they have previously researched.

    Success criteria:

    Students will use their story to teach others about that disability and what they can do to create accessibility and inclusion in schools for individuals with that disability.

    Step 2 - Planning Instruction

    Step 2 Planning Instruction

    Student Background Knowledge

    Before completing this lesson, students will have previously researched information about a sepcific disability. In their history classes they will have already studied civil rights and education laws. This will give them an understanding of the inequalities that have existed in the past for individuals with disabilities.

     They will also need to know how to generate a video program, and have a knowledge of copyright laws.

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    Students with disabilities may complete the assignment with a peer tutor and may tell their own story with details specific to their disability, or work with their peer tutor on another topic.

    Their digital stories need only be 1-2 minutes in length and they will have four weeks to complete the assignment.

    Step 3 - Instruction

    Step 3 Instruction

    Digital Stories for middle school peer tutors

    What is a Digital Story?

    Watch Digital Storytelling: What it is and What it isn't with your students. Tell your students that they will be creating a digial story about the disability they chose to research.

    Read 8 Steps to Great Digital Storytelling (print and pass out copies - included in resources) with your students. Discuss the steps to digital storytelling and have the students brainstorm ideas with a classmate.

    Read Six Elements of Good Digital Storytelling (print and pass out copies - included in resources).

    Watch these two examples of digital stories with the students.

    Discuss what elements were used well by the students who made these videos. What did your students like? What would they do differently?

    Show students this video so they can see what program they will be using to create their video. Adobe Spark Videos. (Students may request to use a different program).

    Have students complete a one to two paragraph story proposal​​​​​​ (print and pass out story proposal forms - included in resources). Collect at the end of class.

    Send them home with rubrics (included in resources) for each portion of the assignment.


    Step 4 - Assessments

    Step 4 Assessments


    Students will complete a story proposal (disability top they previously researched).

    Students will turn in an outline or description of their digital story.


    Students will create and upload a digital story.


    Students will present on their topic and share it during our disability awareness day.

    Student self-reflection:

    Students will write a self-reflection on what they learned about how story telling can influence others and what they hope people learned from their story.