Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Extreme Frisbee: A Wholistic Approach to Developing Literacy

A student looks through his Multiview

I have a student who is gifted, has Rod Monochromatism (visual acuity 6/36) and is in year 5 (5th grade). At the end of last year he and I reviewed his school experience and he explained that he was a little frustrated that his low vision impacts on his ability to play ball games with his peers. So, at the beginning of this year we spent some time developing a few ideas for games with different equipment – a giant Frisbee and a Pilates ball. The games are quite basic, effective and fun.

With the class teacher, it was decided to create a small group who would work on a project to refine the game and make a film that would instruct other school members how to play it. Over about 20 weeks the group met weekly for between 30 and 60 minutes and has produced a film that will be watched by other students at their school and by other students with Vision Impairments across our region. (And now by you.)

The group began with 6 students (chosen by my student, in consultation with his teacher), then grew to 8 and over time an additional 4 students stood in from time to time when needed. Support from the class teacher was essential to this activity and the interest of other class members inspired the group to be creative.

In developing these games to be played by the whole class (and then the whole school) a number of literacy and vision program aims were addressed.

 

Project Goals

My aims within my student’s vision program were to:

  • broaden and develop social skills.
  • develop work related skills – working with others, following instructions, giving effective instructions, negotiating roles, setting and achieving goals, using technology.
  • develop literacy through speaking and listening, writing and composing for a specific audience.
  • develop understanding and skills in visual literacy (a major part of the School Syllabus here).

Although my student was the only one with a specific vision program, all students worked within this program.

Students learned to:

  • Create texts for a specific audience – their aim was to create a text that could be used to teach students as young as stage one (5 – 7 years old) how to play the game.
  • Blend together spoken words, written words and pictures to create meaning.
  • Use aspects of visual literacy to create meaning.
  • Plan and follow through with work.  
  • Edit.
  • Express and negotiate their ideas within a group.
  • Work in a group in a sensitive and cooperative way (most students in this group had previously used the “I’m louder so I win” method).
  • Accept creative criticism from people outside the group.
  • Take directions.

Visual Literacy is a major aspect of the English Curriculum in our state (New South Wales, Australia), and in the National Curriculum being introduced next year. In this activity students were able to develop their understanding of how messages are conveyed using visual images.


What We Did

  1. Working with my student we discussed the overall idea of the game, then negotiated the rules.
  2. He typed the rules and saved them onto a USB.
  3. The group was formed.
  4. The group played the game to see if it would work and after each session discussed any changes that needed to be made to rules. Notes were made of changes needed.
  5. It was decided that more members were needed and 2 more people were included in the group.
  6. (Over the next few weeks the group started by playing the game for about 10 minutes, then reviewing the rules/suggestions etc.)A group of students draws up a story board
  7. The group met inside, around a large table and rewrote the rules.
  8. The group decided that an additional set of “suggestions for fair play” be developed.
  9. Group discussed the film and how the game might be taught to other students.
  10. A story board for the film was drawn up.
  11. Filming started.

All filming was done by students on the school’s iPad 2s – we generally used 1 per session. Editing was done by students using iMovie on an apple mac with a very large screen. Each school here has different technology, so other devices could be used in all of the steps. I have also thought that we could use the school’s interactive whiteboards in the editing process, for a larger screen, but I have not tried that.

It did take a little while before we worked out an efficient method for filming. Students were very excited about being on film and there are quite a lot of performers in this group, so staying on task took some effort. We filmed hours more content than we actually used – and then edited. So it was just like a real movie.


The Filming – What Works Best

After a while we hit on the process of a) deciding on 1 rule to film; b) talking through the exact series of events that we wanted to film; then c) filming them.

Students display their ultimate frisbee.

It worked better when the person filming said, “Start”. Each of the students took a turn at filming, being umpire and playing. Students developed more creativity and variety in their ideas and plans as filming continued.

As filming progressed, some students started to edit the film while others continued to film. This enabled all students to see and evaluate what they had created. Some segments were re-filmed and students discussed ideas for formatting the text. A few students took leadership roles in editing the film, but all students participated in making the film – in voice overs and suggesting texts or combinations.

During the editing process everyone learnt a great deal about using iMovie.

All students were able to make suggestions and it was in this final stage of the process that I was able to observe how much more cooperatively and considerately they worked together.

During the last 3 sessions on the film, all 8 students and I were in a small staffroom, going through the editing process when someone suggested that they make up a song to put in the film. Of course, they did. That afternoon, after I had left, the students filmed their song and included it in the video.

As part of the process, mid-way through the editing, and at the end, all class members watched the video and made suggestions for ways that the film could be improved. This was a very valuable part of the creation process.     
 

Being Published

Before contributing this I asked the students if they would like their work to be published on Paths to Literacy. They were all eager to contribute.

They would like you to know that they are available to speak at conferences (travel fully paid), especially in the USA.

And one of the girls commented, “Oh, the clip might go spiral!”

So – although we’re not on youtube, we’re hoping to go spiral.

And finally, if you take up the challenge of playing Extreme Frisbee, or if you make up a game of your own, the students here would like to see what you do. Maybe  your students could film their games so we could see them too.  

Extreme Frisbee as a Literacy Tool


 

Add a link to a Youtube or Vimeo Video: 

Comments

Informative and Entertaining

Posted by Laurie Hudson

I'm so impressed that your students designed and produced this video to explain their game.  It's both informative and entertaining  Please give them my hearty congratulations from Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

What a fantastic project!

Posted by Hellen Riley

All round congratulations to the students and their supporters. Not only have they invented a great inclusive game, they have super-amazing skills in video production and editing. I hope it goes spiral and you get lots of invitations to show it at conferences. From Adelaide, South Australia.

Extreme Frisbee

Posted by Annabelle Yeats

What a terrific game please congratulate all the screen writers,cast and crew. I am currently visiting The Sharp Memorial School for the Blind in India and I will show your video to the principal today perhaps the students here would enjoy your game as well.

I'm in the video

Posted by Liam O'Brien

i am the blonde idiot in the song. I was so happy then.

omg looks fun

Posted by Hannah scarborough

my bff is in the video go sarah !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Awesome!

Posted by Aspen Blomfield

Seriously Hannah and Liam!? Anyway, I'm so glad Indians and Americans are going to see this! Thanks Ms Goodsir...

Great Work

Posted by Mr Foulstone

Very impressive Adam (& team) and Ms Goodsir!!

Thanks to all involved in thei game/production

Posted by Tony Chesher (A...

Many thanks to the Teachers at Nulkaba School for making this possible. Special thanks to Ms Debra Goodsir for her initiative. Thanks to all the kids who helped out in the acting and production. It warms my heart to see that Adam's needs are being attended to (and developed) by a caring and thoughtful community. I think everyone has benefited from this simple and very fruitful exercise. Thanks again and well done.

Amazing

Posted by Narelle Hunt

What wonderful and talented children go to Nulkaba. I am so lucky to be Principal of such an amazing group of students. Well done Adam and the team.

EXTREME FRISBEE and more...

Posted by Adam Chesher

Thanks for your support guys. Thankyou to Ms Goodsir, Mr Somerville and the sport group for making this game a reality. We are currently working on a new game called PING which we have just finished creating a mini video for. Hope you will be able to see it soon, if not on this site, on YouTube.

extreme frisbee

Posted by pam and mark leov

Good work Debra . Good work film crew and actors. must get myself a giant frisbee.
years since we spoke . call us sometime please Debra

Changes

Posted by Ben

The sport group has been changed and only has three of the original members Adam Chesher Aspen Blomfield and Molly Wills so the others will be not in any future videos

Sport Group

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Thanks for letting us know, Ben!  We would love to hear from any of the group -- current or past -- about other ideas for including classmates with visual impairments in sports activities or games.

YouTube Channel!!!

Posted by Adam Chesher

I.m not sure if Ms Goodsir has said this yet but we now have a YouTube channel called Hairy Dog Productions and we've posted a bunch of new and old videos> so make sure to go check it out and subscribe for more games to come!!!

Congratulations!

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Thank you for letting us know, Adam.  It will be fun for us to watch your other videos!

Keep up the great work,

Charlotte

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