Monday, January 22, 2018

Tactile Graphics

Crayon pictures are great for kids with sight, but for the blind, tactile pictures make more sense. My elementary students recently used cardboard and Popsicle sticks to create a bus, a swimming pool, houses, dragon flies, a swing set, and more.
Teachers can help students with visual impairments find their way to the cafeteria by making them of the school with hot glue. Elephants, squids, and planets can be made into tactile graphics so that the students can get an idea of the shape of things that they can't see (even on TV or in magazines) or feel in real life.
Having students make their own images helps me to know what they understand and what they don't. And if there's some one on one time, it's an even better learning experience. "Did you know that houses often have peaked roofs?" or "Cars have four wheels, but there are two on each side, so how many wheels should we have on a side view of our car?"

These are also an excellent way for students to tell stories or to illustrate stories. They might talk about things that happened in their neighborhood, or an afternoon at an amusement park, complete with tactile roller coaster. And of course, the option of creating non-objective art should always be an option. There is something joyful about just putting shapes together.

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