Teaching Needs vs. Wants

Categories: Curriculum Ideas

Teaching the concept of thankful can be ridiculously challenging. Well I bit off a little more than I could chew and took on teaching wants vs. needs. Again a great and necessary concept to teach but it was hard for my kids! They did really well though. We did tons of examples and these word sorts were the perfect accompaniment. I think it was really good for my kids to talk about what would happen if we didn’t have these things. When I asked what would happen if we didn’t have soap – they were all like, “Ewww – we would be stinky!” Too funny. These guys crack me up.

I got the great freebie – yea I said freebie – from Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbit’s (love her blog!). This freebie – Thanksgiving Poems, Chants, and Performance is loaded with awesome resources. I used her wants and needs sorts and they really helped teach my students this concept. I love a good sort. It really helps with discrimination.

These are the definitions we developed for needs and wants. Again kids with autism have a hard time using language to explain things – so I needed to make sure we did tons of examples and categorizing to help my kids understand the concepts.

We made class posters sorting ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ and talked about each one.

Then they made their own sorts on their own.

Big poster for the hallway:

Thanks so much Reagan for a great activity!


What tricky topics have you been working on?


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