By "special ed" students, I'm guessing you mean life skills students? Are they nonverbal? I would start simple. A craft activity where they have to follow directions, request items, attend to the activity, etc. is a place to start. If they're nonverbal, are you using any sort of AAC or sign language? Finding an activity the kids are interested in (I've found music or food are high motivators) is a good idea and the kid can ask for more, to stop, the specific item/activity, etc.
I hope that helps with some starting points. If nonverbal or minimally verbal... if you do the craft activity, try giving the child a choice of 2 items, like scissors or crayons. Then ask the child "What do we need next?" or "We need to cut now. What do we use to cut?" Makes it functional and works on vocabulary.