Heather M. Wenarsky
This unit was written for students who are lower-level struggling writers, whose disability impacts their ability to produce definitive transcribed work. Secondary English Education students are my target grade-level focus for creating this unit; however, it can also be modified for elementary education students. The curriculum unit I am writing can also be integrated in a History classroom. My special education students have scored either "Basic" or "Below Basic"
on their state-wide Connecticut Mastery Tests, as well as on the three District Quarterly English Language Arts assessments they took at the end of each marking period during their freshmen year of high school. When my students have received a writing assignment, they appear anxious and frustrated. Desher's research from 2009 states that students with learning disabilities have difficulty processing and organizing written information.
As a result, these students written products are often short, simple sentences, and their writing demonstrates a lack of awareness of their audience and indicate what they know in their written work, rather than what is required. Secondary students are expected to compose longer documents, to use complex text, and sentence structures to integrate information from a variety of sources.