Bringing the Real World Into the Classroom: Teaching Using Simulations

Secondary students benefit from instruction in a variety of settings including school, vocational & community settings. Providing students the opportunity to learn and practice skills prior to going into the natural community setting is vital.

Students often need repeated practice in the community in order to be independent with routines.  Although teaching skills in community settings is best for generalization, many teachers find that this is not realistic on a daily basis. To supplement community routines, teachers can provide repetition by creating “simulations” in the classroom. Below is an example of a lesson plan from the Links Curriculum: Classroom Simulation-Going to the Movies:

Click the image below to download the full lesson plan from Links. 

This lesson teaches students to participate in a community movie outing. A few ideas when planning this simulation: 

  1.  Schedule this activity two or three times per week at a consistent location.
  2.  Select an individual (either student or staff/volunteer) to “work” at the “movie theater.”
  3.  Provide snacks to simulate a typical movie theater environment.
  4. Be creative when selecting “movies” for this activity.  The movie could be a short clip from a TV show or movie, a you-tube video clip, or a classroom-made movie.
  5.  Present a visual strip to the student before practicing the routine.

Click the visual below to download the visual strip for going to the movies!