The Pan-Canadian Paralympic School Week Program provides a unique by ByronHout


									Celebrating Paralympic
School Week in Your School
A guide for educators

November 3–7, 2008
November 2–6, 2009
Hon. Shirley Bond                          John Furlong                                  Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Education and Minister         Chief Executive Officer                       President
Responsible for Early Learning             Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010   Canadian Paralympic Committee
and Literacy and Deputy Premier            Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC)

As Minister of Education and Deputy        The Pan-Canadian Paralympic School            The Canadian Paralympic Committee
Premier, it is my pleasure to join with    Week Program provides a unique                (CPC) is enthusiastic and excited to
the Vancouver Organizing Committee         opportunity for Canadian students             be working with the British Columbia
for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic        to be inspired by the Paralympic              Ministry of Education and the
Winter Games and the Canadian              Movement. The Paralympic Games and            Vancouver Organizing Committee
Paralympic Committee in inviting           the amazing abilities of Paralympic           for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic
schools across Canada to participate       athletes offer a chance to prompt             Winter Games on the Pan-Canadian
in the Pan-Canadian Paralympic School      community celebration and pride, to           Paralympic School Week Program.
Week Program this fall and in the          foster unity, to embrace diversity and
                                                                                         We hope the program will expose
fall of 2009.                              to instill a genuine spirit of excellence
                                                                                         students to the incredible sporting
                                           in all of us.
This is a special opportunity for                                                        feats of Paralympic athletes and
students across Canada to increase         Your support of the Pan-Canadian              help them realize the value of active
their appreciation of the outstanding      Paralympic School Week Program is an          participation in sport and fitness
contributions made by people               important step towards our goal of            activities for all Canadians. Less than
with disabilities.                         building a lasting legacy of positive         3 per cent of Canadians with physical
                                           perception in classrooms across Canada.       disabilities regularly participate in
This guide for educators is a great
                                                                                         organized sport, while the figure
place to start, as you take advantage of   The Games will make us nation builders
                                                                                         jumps to 31 per cent for able-bodied
this wonderful opportunity to expand       — champions at work and at play —
                                                                                         Canadians. Everyone should be given
awareness of people with disabilities      and better citizens of the world. They
                                                                                         the opportunity to reap the benefits
and celebrate our great athletes.          will inspire children and adults alike to
                                                                                         of physical activity and sport.
                                           do better, to be better and to stretch
I wish you all a successful and exciting
                                           the limits of what is possible. They will     The Paralympic School Week Program
week. Let’s celebrate together!
                                           be the time of our lives!                     aims to shift the focus from disability
                                                                                         to ability — to focus on the value of
                                                                                         equality and the importance of access
                                                                                         and inclusion in all areas of life.
                                                                                         Exposure to the Paralympic Movement
                                                                                         will hopefully encourage Canada’s
                                                                                         youth to join us in feeling the rush
                                                                                         and excitement of the Paralympic
                                                                                         Winter Games.
Sir Philip Craven, MBE                 David A. Walden
President                              Secretary-General Canadian
International Paralympic Committee     Commission for UNESCO

One of the International Paralympic    On behalf of the Canadian Commission
Committee (IPC) strategic goals is     for UNESCO, I wish to commend and
to develop and realize education       congratulate the Vancouver Organizing
initiatives directed to building the   Committee for the 2010 Olympic and
awareness and understanding of the     Paralympic Winter Games, the Canadian
Paralympic values among youth and      Paralympic Committee, and the British
school children.                       Columbia Ministry of Education
                                       for organizing the Pan-Canadian
The upcoming Vancouver 2010
                                       Paralympic School Week Program.
Paralympic Winter Games are an ideal
window of opportunity to create        We are convinced that the experience
understanding and develop a positive   of this exciting and innovative program
attitude toward the Paralympic         will prove to be a rewarding one that
Movement among Canadian youth.         will enrich the lives of all participants,
                                       particularly students, helping to shape
We are happy to endorse the
                                       global citizens. We look forward to the
Pan-Canadian Paralympic School
                                       celebration of a successful Paralympic
Week Program within Canada.
                                       School Week.
Introduction                                                                4
What is Paralympic School Week?                                             4
When is Paralympic School Week?                                             5
Why Participate in Paralympic School Week?                                  5
School-wide planning                                                        7

Ideas for school-wide activities                                            8
1 School-wide theme                                                         8
2 Paralympian as a motivational speaker                                     8
3 Mini-Paralympic Games                                                    10
4 Daily announcements that complement the Paralympic focus                 11
5 Creative or service project for individual students or groups            11

Ideas for classroom-based activities                                       12
Adaptation for inclusion                                                   13
Primary (K–3)                                                              14
Grades 4–7                                                                 15
Grades 8–10                                                                16
Grades 11–12                                                               18

Useful links and resources                                                 20

Appendices                                                                 21
A Arranging a timetable for Paralympic School Week events                  21
B Planning checklist                                                       22
C Did you know? — announcement ideas                                       25
D Sample article for grades 8–10 classroom-based activity                  27

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators        3
For 10 days in March 2010, Vancouver and Whistler BC will host the Paralympic
Winter Games in celebration of the Paralympic spirit and ideals. Since the first
Paralympic Winter Games were held in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden in 1976, the Games
have grown in both scope and public appeal, and now include a range of events for
athletes with varying forms of physical disability, in five winter sport categories:
• alpine skiing
• biathlon
• cross-country skiing
• ice sledge hockey
• wheelchair curling

Canada will enter the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games not only as the
Host Country, but as a strong contender in every Paralympic Games category,
recognizing the commitment and excellence of its Paralympic athletes, and
affirming the pride and support that Canadians from coast to coast to coast feel
for their Paralympic sport programs.
In anticipation of these Games, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010
Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), in partnership with the BC Ministry
of Education and the Canadian Paralympic Committee, is inviting and encouraging
schools across Canada to join in the celebration of human aspiration and athletic
excellence by participating in a Paralympic School Week in the fall of 2008 and
again in the fall of 2009. Taking part in the program offers schools the opportunity
to showcase their activities on /EDU, the Canadian school portal for Vancouver
2010 <>.
Paralympic School Week is endorsed by the International Paralympic Committee
and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

The Pan-Canadian Paralympic School Week Program taps into the enthusiasm
and interest associated with the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
The week-long program adopts the ideals of the Paralympic Movement and
the topic of people with a disability who are making a difference as a focus for
school-wide community building and subject-related instruction. Support for this
undertaking, in the form of materials for students, teachers and administrators
(for example, guest speakers, online text, graphic and audio-visual resources),
is being provided by VANOC, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the BC Ministry
of Education and other partners. Further support information is provided in
this guide.

4     Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
Paralympic School Week is scheduled to take place:
November 3–7, 2008 (with a focus on Paralympism in Canada)
November 2–6, 2009 (with a focus on the international Paralympic Movement)
Schools are encouraged to hold the Paralympic School Week during these times
so as to celebrate along with schools across the country; however, they are by
no means limited to the specified dates. Expanding the window of time may make
it easier to schedule guest speakers, access specialized materials, conduct
pre- and post-event activities and provide opportunity for students to reflect
on the learning that takes place.

The period leading up to the 2010 Winter Games presents an unparalleled
opportunity to capitalize on students’ natural engagement with an event that will
be receiving worldwide attention. A compelling, multi-faceted experience, the Olympic
and Paralympic Winter Games offer rich possibilities for students learning about many
• human physical function and                • important contributors to personal,
  capacity, athletics and the value            lifelong success in any field (for
  of active participation in sport and         example, goal setting, perseverance,
  fitness activities                           relationships)
• positive social values (for example,       • social dynamics (for example,
  volunteerism, teamwork, self-sacrifice       competition, strategic thinking,
  and fair play, distinguishing between        the role of media)
  legitimate and illegitimate ways of
  enhancing performance)

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators                5
For more information on how instruction focused on Paralympism can contribute to student
learning, see the Ideas for Classroom-Based Activities section in this guide.

Additionally, a focus on the Paralympic Games offers compelling opportunities
for students to:
                                                                                                           Educators who have
• engage directly with Paralympians and learn about the origins, features
                                                                                                        participated in existing
  and significance of the Paralympic Games                                                                Paralympic education
      What qualifies someone to participate in              What are the five sports of the          programs have found that
      the Paralympic Games?                                 Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter
      How are the Paralympic Games
                                                            Games and how are they played?               students — especially
      similar to the Olympic Games?
      How are they different?
                                                            Who are the athletes? What are
                                                            their disabilities, their backgrounds,
                                                                                                      younger ones — engage
                                                            their personal stories?                  more readily with the topic
• understand and appreciate a wide range of physical and health challenges                           of Paralympism than with
• overcome stereotypes and preconceptions about the limitations and capacity of                              many other topics.
• discover more about the role and possibilities of technology in helping people
  adapt to real situations and overcome challenges
• reflect on the nature and significance of human interdependence, equity
  and fairness
• recognize and celebrate a wider range of achievements and types of success
  (and developing a more sophisticated awareness of what constitutes success)

6      Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
Although the idea of devoting an entire week of the school year to a single focus
will seem ambitious both instructionally and administratively, Paralympic School
                                                                                        Paralympic School Week
Week is flexible enough to fit with the program in any school. Activities with such        is flexible enough to
a focus can be readily implemented in various ways:
                                                                                           fit with the program
• centred around a single day, with          • using non-instructional time (for
  a limited amount of time on days             example, at the beginning of the                     in any school.
  preceding or following this day              day, during lunch period, at the end
  devoted to essential preparatory and         of the day) to extend activities,
  follow-up activities (for example, a         perhaps with the involvement of
  launch and/or a wrap-up event)               the school’s parent committee
• in discrete daily instructional blocks
  of between 20 and 40 minutes
  each, or longer

See Appendix A: Arranging a Timetable for Paralympic School Week events for
additional ideas on how timetables might be arranged to accommodate differing
approaches to organizing a Paralympic School Week.
An important contributor to the success of a Paralympic School Week will be having
an individual or small group within the school’s administrative and/or instructional
staff responsible for planning/coordinating school-wide activities and undertaking
facilitative tasks such as:

• communicating with the                     • accessing facilities (for example, for
  school staff                                 field trip purposes) and/or materials
                                               (such as equipment to facilitate PE
• communicating with parents and
                                               or other hands-on activities related
  students in advance of the week
                                               to Paralympic sport)
• contacting/arranging
                                             • compiling a calendar of events
  guest speakers
                                               related to your Paralympic
  (such as Paralympic athletes)
                                               School Week
A further step to consider might involve contacting local media to:

• promote the event, and present             • visit the school to take pictures
  stories and interviews on                    and/or conduct interviews for
  Paralympians and/or others with a            release as local news or human
  disability who are involved in various       interest items
  walks of life (for example, advocacy,
  cultural pursuits and sustainability)

See Appendix B: Planning Checklist for specific steps that your school’s planning
leader or planning committee might take to prepare in the lead up to a Paralympic
School Week.

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators                                        7
Depending on your school’s approach to organizing a Paralympic School Week, a
number of community-building components can be built into the program. The
following are five possibilities.

Adoption of a school-wide theme associated with the Paralympic School Week can
be an effective way to focus both instructional and non-instructional activities.
Possible examples include:
• meeting challenges — an examination        • expanding our horizons —
  of the challenges faced by:                  a theme applied to:
    anyone who lives with a disability or        the promotion of inclusiveness
    with some other form of significant          and empathy for others
    limitation (health limitation,
    circumstantial limitation)                   going beyond one’s existing
                                                 preconceptions or stereotypes
    any athlete engaged in competition or
    committed to the pursuit of excellence       encouragement for students
                                                 to set ambitious, yet realistic
    people in any demanding walk of life         personal goals
    students themselves and their
    personal goals and aspirations

In order to keep the focus from becoming too broad, keep in mind that the intent of
having a Paralympic School Week in each of two successive years is to emphasize
the Canada connection in the fall 2008 week and the international connection in
the fall 2009 week.

Having a Paralympian as a motivational speaker can be a good precursor,
centerpiece, or follow-up activity for a Paralympic School Week. The Canadian
Paralympic Committee (CPC) maintains a list of possible candidates for school and
other engagements <>. Another possible source of
information is the CPC’s Feel the rush <>.
Typically, Paralympians who participate in motivational speaking can be expected
to cover topics such as:

• how they got involved in their             • their athletic competition
  chosen sport                                 experience and what they have
                                               taken from it (the inspirational
• their sport, its rules, and the
                                               lesson — handling defeat
  technological and other adaptations
                                               and victory)
  that athletes employ to participate
  (possibly including a demonstration        • the sacrifices, the qualities and
  or an accompanying media                     the attitude required for success
  presentation)                                as a Paralympian (what keeps
                                               them motivated)

8     Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
• how they balance athletics and           • the support they receive (sponsors,
  other aspects of their lives (for          coaches, family members)
  example, their training regimen, how
                                           • issues and considerations
  they meet their expenses, how they
                                             associated with their sport (for
  balance training with family, social
                                             example, drug testing)
  life and other work)
• the nature of their disability (how
  it came about and how it affected
  their lives)

Students might prepare for the presentation by contemplating questions to ask.
When the presentation serves as a centerpiece or precursor activity, it becomes
an effective benchmark for subsequent classroom-based activities (see Ideas for
Classroom-Based Activities in this guide). The presentation can also be used by
teachers wishing to explore students’ responses by using questions such as:

• What did you find most interesting       • Did the disability affect what this
  about the speaker’s presentation           person/character did or achieved?
  (for example, format, message,
                                           • What did you think was the
  presentation style)?
                                             speaker’s main message?
• In what ways were you inspired?            How, or to what extent, do you
                                             feel it might apply in your life or
• Can you think of a famous person
                                             the life of someone you know?
  (especially Canadian), or a character
  in a book or movie, with a disability?

Schools can showcase their activities on /EDU, the Canadian school portal for the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games <>.

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators            9
Organizing a mini-Paralympic Games as part of your school’s physical education
program, or simply in support of an overall emphasis on frequent, moderate to
vigorous physical activity for young people, can be a valuable adjunct to other
learning, especially for younger students.
A mini-Paralympic Games involves having students attempt physical activities that
simulate those performed by Paralympians. This would involve providing students
with access to a pool of wheelchairs, ice sledge hockey sledges on wheels, wheeled
sit-skis, wheelchair curling equipment and more (with sufficient advance planning,
such equipment might be obtained by a school district through contact with a local
disability/adaptive sport program). Schools could schedule their mini-Paralympic
Games on a different day of the week allowing equipment to be shared. Within
a single school, successive classes and/or groups of students could be rotated
through a set of stations set up in the gymnasium. Depending on the level of
interest and availability of resources, a mini-Paralympic Games could be organized
merely as a participatory event or as a competitive team event complete with
timing/scoring and recognition for excellence.
Alternatively, students could participate in activities with imposed limitations
to simulate certain disabilities and Paralympic events such as:

• curling from a chair                        • completing an obstacle course
  (wheelchair curling)                          with a blindfold on while using a
                                                classmate for assistance (ski
• traveling a set distance with the use
                                                racing for blind athletes)
  of only one leg (races for amputees)
• using floor scooters and mini-sticks
  or students’ hands to create a floor
  game (an adapted version of ice
  sledge hockey)

For additional information and programming ideas, download these resources:
Schools can showcase their activities on /EDU, the Canadian school portal
for the 2010 Winter Games. < >

10    Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
Many schools broadcast daily announcements to all staff and students. Both in the
lead-up to and during your Paralympic School Week, the daily announcement could
include information or observations with a Paralympic focus as a way to further
boost student awareness. Various websites cited throughout this guide provide
material for any staff member or student wishing to compile announcements
tailored to the age levels and interests of students. As a starting point, a collection
of “did you know?” announcements has been provided in Appendix C: Did you
Know? — Announcement Ideas.

Organizing a service or creative activity linked to Paralympic School Week provides
an excellent community-building opportunity for the entire school.
Possibilities include:

• having students produce display             • arranging for members of the school
  posters or a school mural related             community to document what they
  to what they learned about                    are doing as part of their Paralympic
  Paralympism and other approaches              School Week activities in the
  to overcoming disability, including           form of a slide show, written blog,
  inspirational messages. If organized          podcast or video clip for sharing
  as a contest, someone such                    with the broader school community
  as a Paralympian or prominent                 and possible uploading on /EDU
  community member interested in                <>.
  accessibility issues could be invited
  to participate.
• undertaking fundraising for a
  school or community accessibility
  initiative such as purchasing
  mobility equipment for youth
  with disabilities.

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators                  11
Paralympic School Week and regular, curriculum-based instructional planning

Classroom-based activities are an important component of an effective Paralympic
School Week. Whether they are conducted as preparation for school-wide activities
or as follow up, they enable teachers to capitalize on the engagement created to
help achieve more in-depth and individually focused curriculum-related learning.
The concept of Paralympic School Week is broad enough to embrace a variety
of activities within subject areas such as:
• physical education
• health/guidance/career education
• English language arts
• social studies
• mathematics
• science
• visual arts
• drama and/or dance

12    Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
This section contains activity suggestions appropriate for each of the grade level
clusters within the K–12 span. Some themes are identified to suggest the range
                                                                                               It may prove useful to
of possibilities afforded by the topic. This list of themes includes one or two more           introduce the concept
detailed suggestions designed to support learning in the subject areas of English
language arts, social studies, and health and guidance/career education, as the             of “invisible disability” to
curriculum for these subjects offers particularly compelling opportunities to make
connections with the themes that are opened up by a Paralympic School Week.
                                                                                             students — sometimes
These activity suggestions are just a starting point. Interested teachers
                                                                                                    you can’t see the
of mathematics, science, the fine arts, and physical education, as well as                                   disability.
English language arts, social studies, and health and guidance/career
education will find additional materials online — such as the Canadian
Paralympic Committee’s website, It’s the Real Deal: Paralympic Schools
Program <>, which contains lesson plans
for grades 4–8 in science, PE, mathematics, as well as ELA and social studies).

In keeping with a Paralympic School Week focus of inclusion, respect and empathy,
consider intensifying your use of inclusive teaching practices by implementing and
explicitly drawing attention to adaptations such as:

• providing adapted or modified texts          • providing ESL students with the
  (articles, media texts), questions             opportunity to work with a partner,
  and answers, peer helpers, and                 or other supports they may need, to
  technological supports as needed to            complete readings or participate in
  allow students with special needs to           discussions
  participate (for example, for people
  with vision impairment or who are
  otherwise print-restricted, consider
  using Braille materials, tactile
  materials, materials that contain
  colour contrast and/or materials
  containing easy-to-see fonts)

When doing these adaptations, it may prove useful to introduce the concept of
“invisible disability” to students — sometimes you can’t see the disability. It will also
be important to remain sensitive to the feelings of individual students who might
experience discomfort if they feel singled out.

Schools can showcase their activities on /EDU, the Canadian school portal for the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games <>.

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators                                             13
PrIMArY (K–3)
ACTIVITY IDEA — ENGLISH LANGUAGE ArTS                                                      Possible topics and
Use age-appropriate stories such as Susan Laughs by jeanne Willis and Tony ross            themes to focus on
to introduce the idea of physical disability as a challenge that students might face.
Follow up by having students represent their understanding of the main message             at this level
of the story (for example, through retelling, dramatization or illustration) or respond
to a prompt such as, “What I have learned about physical disability [about living          • Paralympic Games
with a physical disability] is”.
When assessing, consider the extent to which students:
                                                                                           • the five Paralympic
                                                                                             winter sports
• display a capacity for empathy              • demonstrate understanding of the
  and a willingness to be inclusive of          story message and details                  • athletes with disabilities
  others (specifically someone with                                                        • fairness, consideration
  a physical disability, but also, by
  extension, someone who speaks a                                                          • how communities work
  different language, someone with                                                           together (people helping
  different interests, someone with a                                                        one another)
  different ethno-cultural background,
  and more)                                                                                • technology — what it is,
                                                                                             how it helps us
Further materials dealing directly or indirectly with the subject of physical disability
can also be located using websites such as Edens Library at Columbia College
<>. Other online sources may
be found using search parameters such as “children’s literature + disabilities.”
Teachers are reminded, however, that texts/materials must be selected in a manner
consistent with the guidelines in effect in their educational jurisdictions.

Adapt the trading card activity as outlined for Grades 4–7 so that primary students
focus on creating the image, while the salient facts for the back of the card have
been provided by you for them to read.

Schools can showcase their activities on /EDU, the Canadian school portal for the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games <>.

14    Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
GrADES 4–7
ACTIVITY IDEA — ENGLISH LANGUAGE ArTS                                                   Possible topics and
                                                                                        themes to focus on
Have students create five sport trading cards with images and text to demonstrate
an understanding and appreciation of the five Paralympic sports: alpine skiing,         at this level:
ice sledge hockey, cross-country skiing, biathlon and wheelchair curling. Before
beginning, provide some background material about the Paralympic sports. Use            • Paralympic Games
information on sports and athletes available on or on the
International Paralympic Committee’s website <>. Engage               • the five Paralympic
the students in a discussion about the specific sports. Brainstorm with the               winter sports
students what each athlete needs to participate in the sport (for example, special
chair, clothing, or a guide). Talk about where each sport takes place and how           • athletes with disabilities
long the athletes train. Explain how the sport is played and draw a Venn diagram
to compare the Paralympic sport to the Olympic sport. Once you feel that the            • Canadian identity
students have a good understanding of the specific sport, tell them they are going        and the role of sport
to be creating a set of trading cards for each of the sports over a period of time.
Let students know that once they’ve completed all five cards, they will be trading
                                                                                        • benefits of active living
them at the end of the week with other children in the class or the school.             • the scope and growth of
Discuss the appropriate use of line, colour, background, layout and design.               the Paralympic endeavour
Depending on which materials you are using to create the cards, explain to the            — by the numbers
children how to use these (for example, pencils, paper, pencil crayons, felts, water      (percentages, fractions,
colour pencils, chalk pastels, pastels, coloured construction paper). On the front of
the card students are to create an image that represents the sport that has just
                                                                                          simple graphing)
been discussed. Each card should contain the name of the sport, an image of the         • rights and equity (inclusive
sport and the location in which the sport takes place. On the back of the trading         society), with reference
card students will be writing about the sport (history, rules, special equipment or
adaptations, competing nations).
                                                                                          to the UN Convention on
                                                                                          the rights of the Child,
Once you have helped students create their first card, have them research each of         which addresses equity
the other four Paralympic winter sports (students might be expected to complete
one card per day during 45-minute sessions, throughout the week). At the end of
                                                                                          and disability
the week, explain to them that they need to keep one of their own cards and then
begin trading with their friends. Set an allotted amount of time for trading to take
place. Once the allotted time has expired, the trading ends. Each child should end
up with five trading cards.

Schools can showcase their activities on /EDU, the Canadian school portal for the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games <>.

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators                                               15
GrADES 8–10
ACTIVITY IDEA — ENGLISH LANGUAGE ArTS                                                   Possible topics and
Have students read a newspaper article or view a television news article featuring
a Paralympian (see Appendix D for sample article). As a focus for reading, ask
                                                                                        themes to focus
students to identify the challenges that the athlete in the article faces.              on at this level
To assess student comprehension (including ability to draw inference and develop
a personal response to text), discuss the article in Appendix D with the class and      • Paralympic Games
consider the extent to which students:
                                                                                        • the five Paralympic
• identify all the various challenges faced by the featured Paralympic
  athlete (including her disability, her subsequent health issues
                                                                                          winter sports
  related to Chiari malformation, and the difficulties associated with                  • athletes with disabilities
  competitive classification, small number of events, and limited number
  of competitors in her class; note that being parent to a six-year-old boy             • stereotypes and the
  may be cited as a challenge as well by some)                                            role of media/culture
• can answer other comprehension questions (Can you cite an example                     • athletic training —
  of good sportsmanship from the article? How does Michelle Stillwell
  measure her success? What is the world record time for a 100-metre
                                                                                          principles, methods
  distance in women’s wheelchair racing?)                                               • goal setting and
• demonstrate an appreciation for the significance of the athlete’s                       overcoming challenges
                                                                                        • meaning of success
To follow up, have students visit Chantal Petitclerc’s website                          • origins of Paralympic sport;
<> and create a T-chart comparing what they learn
                                                                                          drivers behind growth
about Chantal Petticlerc with what they know about Michelle Stillwell.
                                                                                        • skills analysis —
ACTIVITY IDEA — ENGLISH LANGUAGE ArTS                                                     Paralympic sports
AND HEALTH/CArEEr EDUCATION                                                               and transferable skills
Conduct a media analysis activity by having students view videocasts of Paralympic        (analyzing video of
sporting events, including videocasts of team sports such as ice sledge hockey,           Paralympians in action)
which can be found at Paralympic Sport TV <>. As
a focus for viewing, have students try to identify the qualities, attributes and        • the significance and
behaviours that the telecasters or commentators implicitly and explicitly promote         role of volunteerism
(or condemn) through their commentary. For example, athletes may be praised for
their perseverance, unselfishness, reaction time, dedication or work ethic. Likewise,
athletes may be condemned for loss of focus or attentiveness, lack of self-control
or selfishness (such as in a team sport).

16    Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
Debrief by having students share their findings. Extend the discussion to consider
all telecasts of any team or individual sports that students may be familiar with
(such as professional sports). Have students generate a class list of player qualities,
attributes and behaviours that the telecasters comment on. Ask students to
generate an oral or written response to questions such as, “To what extent do you
see sports as a metaphor for life? What life lessons can we learn from sports? Is
becoming an elite athlete a reasonable career goal for most people? Do you think
training to become an elite athlete would help you in other walks of life? If so, how?”
When assessing participants’ lists of qualities, look for them to identify qualities
such as:
• hard working, with ability to persevere in the face of challenges and setbacks
• commitment
• attention to detail
• self-control (personal conduct)
• consideration of the needs of others
• ability to listen and willingness to take direction (for example, from coaches)
• ability to set goals
• dealing with stress
• confidence without arrogance
• ability to subordinate personal glory to the success of a group

When assessing students’ responses to the questions, consider how well they
recognize both strengths and limitations of sports as a metaphor for life (for
example, the positive and less positive aspects of looking to athletes as role
models, the differences between a structured activity governed by clear rules
and expectations, and the more unexpected situations that life often offers up).
Consider also the extent to which students provide details and examples to
support their contentions.

Schools can showcase their activities on /EDU, the Canadian school portal for the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games <>.

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators                  17
GrADES 11–12
Have students conduct research using a specified number of varied sources related
to Paralympism (for example, five or six websites, news articles, videos), and use
                                                                                        Possible topics and
their findings to debate the resolution: “Paralympic athletes are in every meaningful   themes to focus on
sense the equals of Olympic athletes and should be treated equally in terms of
funding, media attention and public respect.”                                           at this level
When assessing participants’ contributions to the debate, consider the extent to
which they:
                                                                                        • ergonomics —
• formulate coherent arguments
                                                                                          creation and use
                                                                                          of technology that
• cite relevant evidence, where appropriate
                                                                                          fits human needs
• develop points that are pertinent to the resolution                                     (especially, assistive
• observe conventions of debate                                                           technology to enhance
This might be best facilitated by student leadership groups such as Student Council,      mobility and academic
a Spirit Day Committee and PE Leadership.                                                 success)
                                                                                        • psychology of success
                                                                                        • motivational media
Given the proximity of the planned Paralympic School Week to remembrance Day,
it might prove interesting and meaningful to make the connection between
learning related to the awareness of a disability and:
• the wartime sacrifices of the many individuals who experience(d) an
  amputation or other significant combat-related injury.
• the fact that organized competitive sport for persons with a disability
  was developed following WWII due in large part to the existence and
  efforts of sizable numbers of war-wounded former soldiers.
Use this discussion as a basis for having students undertake a written assignment
on a subject such as “What factors have contributed to a growth in inclusiveness
within Canadian social and public institutions since WWII? What degree of
importance would you attach to each of the factors you have identified?”. Students
might find information on websites such as CPC’s CF Soldier On program, an
adaptive sport/rehabilitation program for injured Canadian servicemen/women and
veterans <>.

18    Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
When assessing students’ work on this assignment, consider the extent to
which they:
• identify a range of factors (for          • cite specific examples to support
  example, impact of the war                  their analysis
  experience on individuals, changing
                                            • attach a plausible order of priority
  demographic patterns in Canada
                                              or importance to the various factors
  due to mobility and immigration,
                                              they identify in response to the
  legally mandated changes
  in Canadian institutions and
  processes following repatriation          • develop reasonable arguments in
  of the Constitution, the efforts            support of their position
  of particular groups or individuals,
  technological developments)
• articulate a coherent and defensible
  definition of inclusiveness (for
  example, to be applicable to persons
  with disabilities, as well as other
  groups in society whose needs
  and interests might have been
  overlooked in the past)

Schools can showcase their activities on /EDU, the Canadian school portal for the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games <>.

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators             19
The following websites provide information and support when organizing
your Paralympic School Week activities.

Vancouver 2010,                            International Paralympic
Education Programs                         Committee        

It’s The Real Deal,                        The United Nations Convention
Paralympic Schools Program                 on the Rights of Persons                 with Disabilities
Paralympic Heroes                          notpubl/IV_15_english.pdf
The Paralympic Heroes Program,             TreatyEvent2001/pdf/03e.pdf
operated by the Canadian Paralympic
                                           The United Nations Convention on the
Committee, provides a helpful point
                                           rights of the Child (for a poster version
of contact for finding and booking a
                                           that uses child-friendly language, see
Paralympic athlete as motivational
                                           also <
Feel The Rush
                                           Soldier On
This website can be used to find
                                           The CPC’s CF Soldier On program is an
athletes who might be willing to
                                           adaptive sport/rehabilitation program
participate in a Paralympic School
                                           for injured Canadian servicemen/
Week. The site contains an extensive
                                           women and veterans.
list of sport organizations for
athletes with and without disabilities,
                                           Paralympic Sport TV
searchable by province and by sport.
Chantal                     A site offering a video archive                  of numerous Paralympic sport
This website was created and is
maintained by a Paralympian. It can
serve as a focus for media analysis
activities for students at the grades
7–11 levels.

Canadian Paralympic

20    Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators

        Mon       Tues    Wed      Thurs    Fri                   Mon      Tues     Wed     Thurs     Fri                     Mon      Tues     Wed      Thurs    Fri

       recess    recess   recess   recess                        recess   recess   recess   recess                            recess   recess   recess   recess

       lunch      lunch   lunch    lunch                         lunch    lunch    lunch    lunch                             lunch    lunch    lunch    lunch

   A Paralympic Day                                           A three-day Paralympic Week                               A five-day Paralympic Week
   For a one-day Paralympic activity, it                      Perhaps begin your week with a                            Follow the three-day plan, taking
   may be best to emphasize school-                           guest speaker and video presentation.                     advantage of the added flexibility
   wide activities (for example, a guest                      Follow up with some classroom-based                       in your schedule with Paralympic
   speaker and video presentation, a                          activities (see Ideas for Classroom-                      afternoons. Add more workshops/
   mini-Paralympic Games).                                    Based Activities in this guide). The                      lessons depending on time/interest/
                                                              number offered can vary depending on                      availability of staff.
                                                              time, interest level and support within
                                                              the school community.
                                                              Teachers can prepare each lesson or
                                                              students can circulate, conference-
                                                              style, through each classroom. This
                                                              way, teachers only need to prepare
                                                              one lesson that is repeated (as many
                                                              times as needed). Depending on the
                                                              configuration of your school, students
                                                              could circulate as a class, or in multi-
                                                              age teams. On the last day, consider
    LEGEND                                                    some sort of summative event
                                                              that draws together students from
                                                              various grade levels and/or classes
               45-minute activities
                                                              (for example, information-sharing
                                                              sessions, presentation of students’
               80–90-minute activities                        Paralympic-related creative or
                                                              service accomplishments, a
               half-/full-day activities                      mini-Paralympic Games).

Note: On these sample timetables, the mini-Paralympic Games happen at the end of the week, but they could occur on any day.

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators                                                                                                21
   order promotional materials at Feel The Rush <>:
• Winter sports posters (ice sledge hockey and cross-country
  skiing); contact for 12 × 18 posters —
  100 for $136.00 + shipping
• DVD (English and French)
• Wheelchair sports teaching resource at BC Wheelchair Sports
  <> — $10.00 per copy
   gather resources for first staff meeting:
• copy of this document, Celebrating Paralympic Week in Your School:
  A Guide for Educators
• materials are available at
• materials from The Canadian Paralympic Committee
  <> as well as from It’s the real Deal, Paralympic
  Schools Program <>
   introduce Paralympic School Week at first staff meeting:
• discuss scheduling and format of Paralympic School Week —
  November 3–7, 2008
• provide hard copy resources and refer staff to the Useful Links
  and resources in this guide
• establish a Paralympic School Week Steering Committee
   follow-up staff meeting (mid-September):
• review and decide on Steering Committee recommendations
  regarding theme, format, et cetera
• discuss possible guest speakers, community resources, field trip
  opportunities and connections to current school activities
   establish one day of the Paralympic School Week as Canada Day.
   The first day of the Paralympic School Week would be best, especially
   if there’s a guest speaker:
• staff and students are encouraged to wear red, white, Canada clothing,
  Canadian flag/maple leaf tattoos, face painted, et cetera.

22    Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
   book a guest speaker through the Canadian Paralympic Committee
   <>, or a local disability sport
   organization (wheelchair sports, blind sports, CP sports, local
   sledge hockey/skiing associations)
   book sport-specific equipment, if needed
   introduce Paralympic School Week in the September school newsletter
   order any supplies/equipment necessary for Paralympic activities
   check school/public libraries for resources
   investigate the possibility of linking with neighbourhood schools
   to share equipment, speakers, et cetera
   notify local newspaper
   identify an event photographer
   have Steering Committee propose format and agenda for
   school-wide assembly
   send a letter home for parents including a schedule for the
   Paralympic event and an invitation to drop in
   follow up with a reminder home to parents (note, newsletter)
   provide opportunity for teachers to prepare their materials for
   the week ahead
   purchase thank you gift(s) for guest speaker(s)
   look at necessary scheduling of facilities for activities
   (gyms, multipurpose rooms)
   consider opportunities for student leader roles:
• make posters
• read daily announcements and/or highlight a Canadian Paralympian
  from each sport on the daily announcements
• introduce and thank guest speaker
• participate in planning and assemblies to promote the week

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators   23
Paralympic School Week — November 3–7, 2008 or November 2–6, 2009
   conduct final check for materials/equipment/speaker
   ensure photographer in place
   provide mechanism for daily feedback from staff and students
   collect photos/stories/artwork for school newsletters and submit the
   content to /EDU, the Canadian School Portal for the Vancouver 2010
   Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games at <>
   reflect on the week and make recommendations for changes and
   improvements for the Paralympic School Week in 2009

Although the process of planning for a Paralympic School Week would likely
be quite similar for elementary and secondary schools, some age-appropriate
adaptations are likely. The following are some suggestions:
   include Student Council members in the planning
   plan a Spirit Week to include all students
   ensure that the PE staff and their classes which involve peer leadership
   and peer teaching have the resources available to incorporate a focus on
   Paralympism into their classes

24    Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
As a way to promote awareness and engagement of the Paralympic School Week
within your school community, consider adopting or adapting any of the following
for your daily announcements:
1   The Paralympic Games are a premiere sporting event for athletes with a
    physical disability. The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games will be the
    very first time in Paralympic Winter Games history that Canadian Paralympians
    will be competing on their home territory.
2   The Paralympic Games were introduced by Dr. Ludwig Guttmann. He originally
    planned them as part of a rehabilitation program for people with spinal injuries
    and to help young disabled war veterans find engaging and meaningful
    activity and gain self-esteem.
3   The first official Paralympic Games took place in Rome in 1960. Four hundred
    athletes and staff attended from 23 countries, with events limited to
    wheelchair sports.
4   The first Paralympic Winter Games were held in 1976 in Sweden.
5   The prefix para refers to the Paralympic Movement being parallel to the
    Olympic Movement.
6   Blind and visually impaired sports were demonstrated for the first time in the
    1972 Heidelberg Games, and became official sports four years later in Toronto,
    along with amputee events.
7   The first Games to include athletes with cerebral palsy were in 1984.
    The Games were shared between New York and Stoke Mandeville, England.
8   Since Seoul 1988, the Paralympic Games have been held in the same venues
    as the Olympic Games. Cities now have to bid for both the Olympic and
    Paralympic Games.
9   Canada has competed at every Paralympic Games since 1968 and is seen
    as a world leader in sport for persons with a disability.

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators               25
10 Minor modifications are made to the rules of some Olympic sports to
   accommodate Paralympians’ disabilities. For example, visually impaired
   downhill skiers may use acoustic signals and guides to assist them,
   but ski the same courses as Olympians.
11   Athletes compete according to their type of disability and functional ability
     and only compete against others with similar disabilities. Athletes compete
     within the following categories: amputee, cerebral palsy, visually impaired,
     wheelchair and les autres.
12 There are 24 Paralympic sports — 19 summer and 5 winter.
13 The International Paralympic Motto is “Spirit in Motion.”
14 Some Paralympic records are extremely close to Olympic records.
   For example, Canadian Donovan Bailey’s Olympic record in the 100-metre
   track event is 9.84 seconds. Nigerian amputee Ajibola Adeoye holds
   the Paralympic record in the same event at 10.72 seconds.
15 At the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Canada placed 3rd with 72 medals.
16 At the Torino 2006 Paralympic Games, Canada placed 6th with 13 medals,
   five being gold.
17 Sumi, an animal guardian spirit, is the official mascot for the Vancouver 2010
   Paralympic Games. Sumi wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings
   of the mighty thunderbird and runs on the strong, furry legs of a black bear.
18 The x Paralympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler, BC,
   from March 12 to 21, 2010.
19 During the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, approximately
   600 athletes will compete in five sports and over 60 medal events.
20 Athletes attending the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games will
   compete in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey
   and wheelchair curling.

26    Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators
FOr GrADES 8–10
LONELY AT THE TOP                                In women’s wheelchair track racing at
                                                 the Paralympic Games, there will be three
                                                                                                  Meanwhile, Stilwell, who won Paralympic
                                                                                                  gold in 2000 as a reserve on the
                                                 classes. In addition to the T52, which           Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball
PARALYMPICS Vancouver Island
                                                 will contest just the 100 and 200 with           team, rolls on playing “beat the clock”.
wheelchair racer’s only competitor               only six athletes qualified so far, there        When she broke Franks’ marks, she got a
is the clock                                     are two classes for paraplegics, T53 and         congratulatory Facebook message from
                                                 T54. The latter has been dominated for           the previous record holder.
By Gary Kingston
                                                 the last decade by Quebecer Chantal
                                                                                                  “I sent her one back saying ‘I guess you
VANCOUVEr SUN                                    Petticlerc, who owns world records in the
                                                                                                   have to come back to track now’ which
Saturday, May 31, 2008                           200, 400, 800 and 1,500.
                                                                                                   would be great,” says Stilwell, left a
If you ask most medal prospect athletes          “You’re classified based on your level of         quadriplegic at 17 after falling from a
headed to Beijing this summer, gold is the        function,” says StiIwell “For quads, there       friend’s back while piggyback riding. “I’d
thing. For wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell,    can be such a wide range. Some of the            have a competitor with a pretty similar
it goes beyond that. It also highlights an        girls I’m racing against don’t have tricep       disability to myself.”
issue that the Paralympic Games face as           muscles. I don’t have [full] wrist and hand
                                                                                                  However, in a neat twist, Franks has
the movement struggles for a high-profile         function, so I’m still classified as a quad.”
                                                                                                  moved to the basketball court, and has
identity in the mainstream media: Not all        She could race as a T53 or T54,                  made the Canadian team for Beijing.
athletes with a disability are created equal,    but based on current times she’d
not even those in the same class.                                                                 Stilwell retired from basketball after
                                                 be three to five seconds off the
                                                                                                  Sydney to start a family. Any thought
Stilwell, a quadriplegic from Nanoose Bay        pace in the sprints.
                                                                                                  of returning to the game was dashed
on Vancouver Island, concedes she won’t          Stilwell says she’d like to race against         because of Chiari malformation, a
be racing opponents in China as much as          people that “are more like me,” but,             herniating of the brain stem, which
she’ll be racing the clock                       internationally, there just aren’t that          caused significant neck pain and required
That’s what happens when you set a               many female quadriplegics racing, let            brain surgery in 2005.
world record in the T52 Class, 100 metres,       alone. competitive ones. Franks was
                                                                                                  She turned to wheelchair racing, but
of 19.60 seconds – as Stilwell did a week        partly responsible for that, by continually
                                                                                                  even that hasn’t been smooth sailing. In
ago in Switzerland – and you’re two              lowering the world marks that are used
                                                                                                  january, it was discovered that a once
seconds ahead of your chief rival, Pia           as qualifying standards.
                                                                                                  pea-sized cyst on her spinal cord was
Schmid of the host country. That’s two           In fact, the chief reason the T52s will race     found to have grown to the point where
seconds, not 2/10ths of a second.                the 100 and 200 in Beijing, as opposed to        surgery, once planned for after Beijing,
Stilwell’s time bettered the 20.11 of Lisa       the 200 and 400 that were contested at           would need to be done sooner or it could
Franks of Saskatoon and was nearly two-          Athens, is that Franks was a stunning            rupture, causing major health problems.
and-a-half seconds faster than the 22.15         11 seconds ahead of the field in winning
                                                                                                  She had surgery two months ago, fearful
she clocked in finishing second to Schmid        gold in the 400 in 2004 in 1:09.52.
                                                                                                  the whole time that it might affect her arm
(22.ll) at the 2006 world championships.         rob Needham, high-performance                    strength. But she was out of hospital after
She also won the 200 last week in a record       director for the Canadian Paralympic             two days and back in her race chair in two-
36.35, erasing Franks’ mark of 36.63.            Committee, said the Paralympic Games             and-a-half weeks.
“I want both gold medals and records at          are about “excellence and elite levels of
                                                                                                  “I’m feeling the best I’ve felt in 15 years. It’s
 the Paralympics,” the soft-spoken married       performance.” And as performances keep
                                                                                                   amazing when you take the headaches
 mother of a six-year-old boy said in an         ramping up, events for those with more
                                                                                                   away how much energy you have. It’s
 interview from her home.                        severe disabilities and events for women,
                                                                                                   allowed me to train harder and helping
“At the same time, all I’ve done is make         where participation rates are low, are
                                                                                                   me to realize my goals.
 the bar a little higher, challenged myself      being dropped.
 a little more than 100 days before Beijing.                                                      “There is a mind-body connection. I really
                                                 He says the IPC always faces tough choices
                                                                                                   believe in that and sport is something
“My focus is on racing against the clock.        in trying to streamline and continues to
                                                                                                   that drives you. I wasn’t going to let
 I just want to better my time.”                 move to a classification system where
                                                                                                   surgery affect my goals for Beijing.”
                                                 athletes are not grouped merely by their
                                                 disability, but how that disability impacts
                                                 performance in their sport.

Celebrating Paralympic School Week in Your School: A Guide for Educators                                                                              27

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