“Wearing a Sensewear jacket isn’t like wearing an ordinary jacket. It doesn’t just keep you warm; it can kind of hug you, thanks to its inflatable lining. When you throw on a Sensewear scarf, it does more than wrap around your neck. It can also emit soothing aromas that bring back pleasant memories. In general, Sensewear isn’t ordinary apparel. It’s a wild-looking line of prototype clothing designed as an example of how apparel could help treat people with sensory perception disorders… common among people with autism.” M. Rhodes, Wired.com
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: This Odd-looking clothing is designed to help Autistic Kids. Margaret Rhodes, Wired.com
“You won’t exactly find it in Uniqlo anytime soon. It’s a wild-looking line of prototype clothing designed as an example of how apparel could help treat people with sensory perception disorders. Emanuela Corti and Ivan Parati, Dubai-based designers who make up the Caravan design collective, imagine the collection of jackets, shirts, and scarves as sort of garment-therapist prototypes for people who undergo sensory occupational therapy.Their central nervous systems struggle to receive and organize sensory stimuli correctly, leaving them either overly sensitive to stimuli, or not quite sensitive enough.
The Sensewear line imagines clothes as a toolkit for handling those uncomfortable sensory moments. Because they’re modular the way all clothes are, they easily adapt to different situations. Most importantly, they let patients learn to self-soothe, which empowers them and could take pressure off therapists.
They look outlandish and impractical, but integrated into each one is an idea for dealing with a different kind of sensory interaction. The jacket, for instance, has an inflatable lining and a hand pump, so the wearer can mechanically induce a pressurized, hugging feeling similar to an infant being swaddled.
The last piece is a pullover with a stretchy hood, for people with sensitivity to noise. You can burrow inside it and create your own custom acoustic chamber. Because they are, ultimately, just clothes (and will soon likely be less bizarre-looking than Sensewear’s creations) they can do a lot of good and little harm.”
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer
Directions: Ask students to examine the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them examine the photos. Ask students to write a paragraph describing what they think this article will discuss. Students can use a Pre-reading organizer for assistance.
II. While Reading Tasks
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- Sensewear is a wild-looking line of prototype clothing.
- This apparel could help treat people with sensory disorders.
- The central nervous system struggles to receive and organize sensory stimuli correctly.
- This manifests in many ways.
- They let patients learn to self-soothe, which empowers them.
- The prototype line won the prestigious Lexus Design Award.
- They look outlandish and impractical.
- The special jacket has an inflatable lining.
- The wearer can burrow inside it.
- All these clothes are meant to be incredibly versatile.
Reading Comprehension Word -Recognition
Directions: Students are to circle or underline the correct word or phrases from the article. This exercise reinforces students’ attention on words that have been introduced in the reading. Have them skim the article to check their responses. Students should also find the meanings for all unknown words.
All these clothes/clues are meant/mean to be incredibly verse/versatile. Corti and Parati—who were future/furniture and product/packet designers before working on Sensewear—worked with research/researchers at the Dubai Autism Center, who told them that sensory/senses reactions vary/vie with every person in therapy. Every kind/kid reacts in a different way to the therapist, so they have to try everything with them.
Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage
Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.
- It’s a wild-looking line of prototype clothing.
2. It help to treat people with sensory perception disorders.
3. The collection consists of jackets, shirts, and scarves.
- The Sensewear line imagines clothes as a toolkit.
2. Most importantly, they let patients learn to self-soothe.
3. There are two scarf: an aromatic model and another that’s meant to provide pressure.
- The last piece are a pullover.
2. Every kid reacts in a different way.
3. People with autism have unique hacks for handling sensory issues.
III. Post Reading Tasks
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
1. The following two statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.
“Sensory processing disorders are common among people with autism. Their central nervous systems struggle to receive and organize sensory stimuli correctly, leaving them either overly sensitive to stimuli, or not quite sensitive enough. This manifests in many ways, but here’s one example… you know that scratchy feeling you get from a tag in a new T-shirt? Imagine that agitation multiplied by 10, or 20: that’s what a dysfunctional sensory perception can feel like.”
“Koenig calls garments a universal design that really helps the group of people affected, and doesn’t hurt anyone else, akin to wheelchair curb cuts in the sidewalk, or screen-printing tags in clothing instead of sewing on cloth ones. Because they are, ultimately, just clothes (and will soon likely be less bizarre-looking than Sensewear’s creations) they can do a lot of good and little harm.”
Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about clothing for Autistic children from the reading, two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.