Tactile journals are a way for students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities, to describe their experiences. They provide an opportunity for students to work on communication and self-expression in written or verbal form, in addition to the tactual representations. In addition, they can be a tangible way for students to practice counting skills and number concepts, as shown on the pages here.
In the activity on the right, the student counts a specific number of Hershey Kisses into a bag for snack. This is a functional activity practicing left to right sequencing and counting, with an end product that can be shared with classmates or sold to others.
- selection of different types of fabric
- buttons, ribbons, glitter, herbs & spices, painted eggshells, cinnamon sticks, dried flowers, pipe cleaners, seeds, beans, feathers, tape, dried pasta
- different types of paper
- popsicle sticks
- glue (glue guns, white glue, glue sticks)
- metal rings to hold book together
- construction paper
- hole puncher
Students should participate as independently as possible in each step of the process, with staff guidance where necessary. These can be journals that follow a theme or cover a specific period of time.
- Ask students what some things are that they can count (e.g. children in the class, numbers of shoes, number of windows, number of musical instruments, etc.)
- Have them decide how they want to create a picture to show how many.
- The procedure will depend upon the specific materials that have been selected and what the students want to depict in their tactile pictures.