PHONETIC BRAILLE ACTIVITIES
By: Carmen Willings
Unlike braille instruction for former print readers or those who are learning braille as a secondary reading mode, braille instruction for children with who learning to read with braille as their primary medium must incorporate more than just the braille code. Instruction must include the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Instruction must incorporate listening skills, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, comprehension and fluency.
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Objective: Student will locate, match, and identify braille letters of the alphabet.
Create file folder activity using unit related cutouts. Place a lower case letter on each shape. Prepare identical cutouts or complimentary cutouts with uppercase letters on them. Encourage the student to match the uppercase to the lowercase letters. If using Velcro, be sure to use the soft Velcro to the file folder and the “scratchy” Velcro to the back of the corresponding shape (This will allow you to present the corresponding shapes on a felt board such as the Wheatley.). Extend the activity by having the student identify the letters.
A to Z
Objective: Student will group words by initial letter and alphabetize all the words.
Using vocabulary cards from the unit, encourage the student to locate the beginning letter of each word. Assist the student in sounding out and reading each of the words. Work your way through the alphabet locating words in alphabetical order. Compare the letters piles and encourage the student to determine which letter has the most words. Which letter has the least amount of corresponding words.
Adaptation: Locate objects of theme related items and present these to the student paired with an auditory description. This is a mitten. Mitten starts with the letter "m". "M" says "mmmm". Can you touch the mitten? Encourage student to touch the mitten in order to advance to the next item.
Objective: Student will create a few words when given a model.
Present the student with a vocabulary words from the unit and encourage them to build the word using letter tiles. Place the tiles of the word in a scrambled order on a felt board. Make the activity more challenging by having the student locate the letters from a selection of letters not needed as well. Enhance the activity by discussing the letter sounds each letter makes and other words that begin with that letter.
Building Compound Words
Objective: Student will identify and create compound words.
Discuss with the student how compound words are made when two words are put together to form a new word. Provide the student with part of a compound word related to the unit. Next have the student find a word that can be added to the beginning or end of their word to create a new word. After the student makes a match, provide them with new cards.
Pair Objects with Words
Objective: Student will match braille labels to real objects.
As the student explores the materials related to the unit, present braille labels to correspond with each object presented. Explain that you have words of each of the objects. Present one word at a time. Reinforce new vocabulary and word-attack strategies by modeling how to read unfamiliar words. Point to the word without saying the name. Point out the beginning, middle and ending sounds. Encourage the student to read the words.
Scrambled Fact Sentences
Objective: Student will read sentence and put it back together after it has been scrambled.
Present the student with pre-written fact sentences related to the unit. Read the sentences together several times to improve fluency and word recognition. Assist the student in cutting the sentence(s) into individual words, or provide prewritten/cut sentences. Mix the words up (but ensure they are all still oriented correctly) and encourage the student to put the sentence together into its original order. Vary the complexity of the sentences to challenge the student, but ensure success. Extend the activity by encouraging the student to generate their own simple sentences related to the topic. Support them in forming a variety of sentence types: declarative, interrogatory, exclamatory, or imperative. Provide assistance in generating new sentences as needed.
Sort by Onset
Objective: Student will identify and read words with the same onset.
Create a set of cards with unit related words. Leave off the first letter or letter blend at the beginning of each word and replace it with a Velcro dot. Provide the student with letters and blends to match that will create the correct word.
Word family sort
Objective: Student will sort words into the correct word family and read the word family words.
Select a word family using unit related word(s) to write clearly on the side of envelopes or other holder in which to sort words. Encourage the student to read each word and place it in the appropriate bag/container with the same word family.
Objective: Student will identify letters within a vocabulary word and rearrange letters to form new words.
Present the student with words related to the unit along with letter tiles to spell the word. Encourage the student to first spell the word and then create more words using those tiles. How many words can the student create with the letter tiles?
Objective: Student will match words.
Present the student with the unit related vocabulary words. Create a set of duplicates and encourage the student to match up the words. Assist the student in sounding out the words and discuss why they are related to the unit or have the student use the words in sentences. Extend the activity by having the student write sentences using the vocabulary words.