Monday, June 15, 2015

Cane and Jacket Racket

Last week, I taught at a camp for teenagers who are blind or visually impaired. The camp theme was Home Sweet Home, so they learned home repair skills, gardening, art and cooking. As the art teacher, I wanted to keep with the week's theme and have them make something useful for their home. About half of the students get around using white canes and so I thought rack to hang a cane, jacket, purse, umbrella or hat, would be useful.

The first morning of camp was a field trip to Lowe's to buy the project materials. I made a scavenger hunt which included finding aisle numbers and prices on specific items as well as experiences to complete (lay in a hammock, put your hand down the model toilet etc.)  There are so many textures, for kids with visual impairments, to explore in that store. The flooring section alone is full of carpets, door mats, tiles, and wood flooring!
Groups would come to the lumber section one at a time and discuss how to pick out a great piece of wood. We bought 6 foot X 6 inch X 1 inch pieces, which would make four racks each. One of the employees, patiently demonstrated how to cut the wood for the students.
Day two, campers sanded the boards, picked out knobs and hooks, and then painted their board a solid color.
Day three, we watched some videos on how to use painter's tape in an original way. Each student came up with an idea, taped, and painted their board in a contrasting color to the underpainting. Some used stencils and spray paint.

Day four, they removed the tape, drilled holes, and screwed on the hooks or knobs.

On the last day of camp,students painted terra-cotta pots. They were given a bag of soil and seeds that they had sprouted in their horticulture class, to plant in the pot once they got home. It was such a fun week, filled with practical skills, silliness, and friendship!

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