Temple Grandin is an Autistic inventor and Advocate!

This learning block represents one week’s work. Aim to watch at least one video and choose at least one activity or project to complete.

There are two videos to choose from about Temple Grandin. The first is suitable for younger kids, and the second will appear to older students. Watch one or both!

Choose an activity

Try a Deep Pressure Calming Activity

When Temple Grandin was studying cattle, she realized that putting gentle pressure on their bodies actually made the animals calmer. She used this discovery to invent a “hug machine” that autistic children or kids with Sensory Processing Disorder can use to help their bodies feel calm and relaxed.

In fact, gentle, deep pressure can actually be calming for most people!

In this video, you get to try out a deep pressure activity at home! It’s called “The Kid Sandwich.”

You will need:
– a pillow
– two couch cushions
– someone to help build your sandwich!


Learn About Autism

In the above video an aspiring filmmaker, Alex, explains how he experiences Autism.

It’s important to remember that every autistic person is different, so what Alex describes may not match up with the experience of your autistic friends or family members (or yourself)!

Listen to what Alex says about his autism.

– What about you seems similar to Alex? What seems different?
– Think about how Alex experiences noises around him. How do you usually feel in a noisy or crowded area?
– Alex has amazing focus when he is making films. What special things do you find it easy to concentrate on?


Listen to Dr. Temple Grandin

In this video, listen to Temple Grandin describe how her mind is like an image search engine! As you listen, ask yourself:

– When you hear a word, what do you picture in your mind? Do you see clear images like Temple, or not?
– Have you ever had trouble learning or understanding something? What did you do that helped?
– Does listening to Temple Grandin describe her brain give you any new ideas? Does it make you wonder anything?

Make A Tinker Lab

Temple Grandin believes strongly in children having chances to do lots of hands-on, making activities. One of the best ways to learn and develop our making skills is through TINKERING!

Tinkering is a chance to play with materials, learn from failures, and grow your brain!

You can make a tinkering lab at home, using just about any materials or tools you have on hand. In this video, you will get ideas for making your own tinkering lab using PAPER as your main material. Give it a try!

You will need:
– different types of paper: old notebooks, cardboard recycling, tissue paper, newpaper, etc.
– drawing tools: pencil, markers, etc.
– cutting tools: scissors, hole punches, etc.
– sticking tools: tape, glue, stickers, stapler, etc.

After you have tinkered around, don’t forget to take photos of your work for your portfolio.

If you are interested in more tinkering activities designed by Temple Grandin herself, her book Calling All Minds is a great place to start!

Watch Temple Grandin The Movie

The video below shows the trailer for Temple Grandin the movie. The trailer is suitable for people of all ages.
If you would like to watch the movie, you can rent it on Youtube here. This movie may not be right for every kid, so check with your grown-up(s) before watching it. They can see reviews on Common Sense Media here.

Books By and About Temple Grandin


Click on the books below to buy them from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library!

Temple Did It, And I Can Too! Read Aloud by Temple Grandin

The Girl Who Thought In Pictures Read Aloud

NOw Let’s Have some fun!