This material can be used in conjunction with any of the Miriam's Vision modules, working especially well with Art and Dance, or as a stand-alone session. The lesson plan could be used over one or two sessions, depending on how much time you have and how much detail you go into. It starts by defining "vision", looks at how our eyes work, goes into visual impairment and then into the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre. It ends with "Miriam's vision" of the future.
Project MV Vision 1.1 Presentation.pptx Slide 2 (also provided as a .pdf). Go through the definitions of "vision" with the class. Explain that you will be exploring two of the definitions; the sense of sight, and an idea of what should happen in the future.
Slide 3 has five facts explaining the complexity and importance of our eyes.
Project Slide 4 and then MV Vision 1.2 The Hyman Eye.pdf. Go through the sheet with the class. Slide 5 is a link to a BBC Bitesize clip "The Human Eye" (5 minutes). The last part of the clip is about a sea tribe whose eyes have adapted to be able to see more clearly under water. You can skip this part if you wish.
Slide 6 is an introduction to vision impairment. Go through the definition and facts with the class.
Slide 7 invites you and the students to share experiences of vision impairment. The point is that it is common, and that without access to eye care services visually impaired people would struggle to undertake everyday activities. "What is helpful?" refers to technical and environmental aids such as adapted high definition computer screens, braille on public signs, pedestrian crossings with audible signals, etc. There is a very wide range of aids that can be explored online.
Slides 8 to 12 are five activities exploring the importance of the sense of vision. These have been adapted from the RNIB's "Activities to develop pupils’ learning about vision impairment" www.rnib.org.uk/sites/default/files/KS3%202017%20lesson%20plan.doc.
Use as many of these activities as you wish.
Activity 1: Feel and describe
Simply ask the class to close their eyes, focus on what they are able to sense and describe it. Then ask for contributions about everyday or more unusual experiences (eg being in a beautiful place) that would be very different without the sense of sight, and how. Finally, ask the students to take a moment to close their eyes when they are in different situations and experience what it would be like without the sense of vision. They could report back next session.
Activity 2: Identify objects
Before the session, gather a few objects and hide them in a bag or box. Blindfold one student and get them to identify the objects. This activity could also be done in pairs or groups so that all the students get to have a go. The slide asks students to describe their experience.
Activity 3: Identify smells
Before the session, gather a few objects with different smells and hide them as in Activity 2. Blindfold one student and get them to identify the smells. Suggest some natural and some artificial objects. Again this can be done in pairs or groups. Get the students to describe their experience.
Activity 4: Identify flavours
As above, gather some foods and drinks (with straws), ensuring that any allergies are taken into account, hide them, blindfold a student and get them to identify the flavour, and continue in pairs or groups, asking the students to describe their experience. Suggest some strong and some subtle flavours.
Activity 5: Follow the leader
Either in the classroom or in a bigger space, set up short "obstacle courses" (with the students' help). Suggest using PE equipment and classroom furniture. They work in pairs, one leading a blindfolded partner around the obstacles. Get the students to describe their experience when blindfolded. A risk assessment is necessary for this activity.
Ask students to summarise their blindfolded experiences.
Slides 13 to 16 introduce Miriam Hyman and the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre. Go through the slides with the class.
Slide 17 gives links to six videos and two websites:
- Miram Hyman Memorial Trust - Miriam's Vision (5 minutes 25 seconds). This video is also accessible on the home pages of the MHMT and Miriam's Vision websites. It is an overview of the work of the MHMT with special focus on Miriam's Vision.
- Miriam's Story - parts 1 to 4 (total 8 minutes). This is the video package that has been produced to go with the Miriam's Vision modules. Suggest watching all if possible, but parts 3 and 4 are especially relevant to this session.
- 10 years of Miriam Hyman Children’s Eye Care Centre (5 minutes 28 seconds). This video was produced by the L V Prasad Eye Institute on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the MHCECC.
- The Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust website. Suggest looking especially at the home page, and sections on MHMT and MHCECC.
- The Miriam's Vision website. Suggest looking especially at the home page, and the About page.
Slide 18 is an opportunity to review the information about Miriam, the MHMT, the MHCECC and Miriam's Vision with nine questions to be answered. You may choose to do this orally as a class or individually in writing.
Slide 19 asks, "Do you share Miriam's vision?" The three questions are intended to focus the students on the purpose of the Miriam's Vision resource. This would be best as a class discussion.
Slide 20 is a list of the sources used in this presentation, with an invitation to students to find other interesting related links. You may want to set this as homework.