Students learning print can access the word wall in their classroom. Our students who are blind need access to this reading resource to develop their reading skills. This article will descibe how to make this accessible word wall and some activities for the student.
- Tri-fold board available from American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. (APH)*
- SAM: Symbols and Meaning Kit - Plastic Pages (APH)*
- Feel 'n Peel Braille/Print Alphabet letters*
- Braillable Labels*
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue
* available through quota funds
Creating the Word Wall:
Use chalk to divide the tri-fold board into equal sections. Create 6 columns and 5 rows. Create 26 sections and leave the final four sections to be used to create sentences or for storage. Go over the chalk lines with hot glue to create the tactile grid. Make alphabet tiles using the plastic pages. Put a piece of Velcro on the back of each tile. Cut one corner not only to make it easy to help with top/bottom, but also to differentiate between the letter and the single letter contraction tiles. Only put the words the student knows on the board. (See: "Can We Do Oreo Reading Now?" # 2 - Making Sentences Activity.)
Using the Word Wall:
Alphabetization: The Word Wall can be used to sort key words alphabetically. Students can find the letter and place words in that section. The Word Wall could help teach alphabetical order. Have student place 2 key words on the board. Ask the student which comes first in the alphabet.
Making sentences: Use key words to make sentences. The space at the bottom of the board is big enough to make multiple sentences.
Note: This activity can be done in the student's classroom when the TVI is not present.
This activity could be created on a magnetic white board with magnets. Use the letters from the Wilson Reading System Instructional Materials, Print-Braille Magnetic Tiles And Journal available from APH. The tri-fold board may be preferable, as it is more portable than a large white board. It is also easier to remove the pieces. I already had words created so the tri-fold board was more practical for me.
If you have more than one student in the same class who needs to use a Word Wall make one for each student. The Word Wall should contain the words that the student knows.