Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Ideas for teaching the concept of “wide”?

I am a little stumped as I am trying to teach the concept of wide and wider… this student understands thick/thin, and long/short… but wide has him baffled… and me too!!

Comments

Have him sort things

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Have him sort things (wide book/narrow book, wide block/narrow block), etc. Put all of the "wide" things in one basket, and the narrow ones in the other.You could also make braille lines (or wide black lines, depending on his vision) that are WIDE apart and then narrow. He could mark the one that is wider. You could also walk around and look at WIDE desks, WIDE doors. Which is wider the teacher's desk or the student's desk?

We hope you'll let us know how things go with this!

Maybe use shelves ...

Posted by Melissa Browning

Maybe use shelves ...put things in stacks next to each other to see how many fit.
Try running a car through a tube (but maybe watch out for narrow) and vary sizes... or it may fit a car but not be wide enough for a truck. Or You could use toilet paper tube vs. paper towel vs. wrapping paper and place them like a dowel (left to right) ..Or try cutting wrapping paper in different widths to see which is a better fit to wrap a present or cover a piece of cardboard.

It would really depend on age

Posted by Patricia Elgersma

It would really depend on the age, but if the student is relatively young (5-9) I would recommend walking through space. Even construct a space where maybe something like two bookshelves are placed close together. And then maybe within that space place two chairs apart from each other. I wish I could remember what the proper O and M terminology was, but I was taught as a child walking sighted guide that when the person's elbow came in close to me that we were walking through a narrow space. I could sense it because the space was made small on account of the two objects we had to pass through. When approaching the space the person assisting could say something like "come in close beside me, it's going to be a tight squeeze!" Assuming it's a younger child. If possible, when going in between the space put the child's hands on the two objects obstructing the path and say something like "see these shelves?" (insert object for shelf) "We have to get around these and there's only a little space for us to fit through!" This could also be demonstrated if the student walks with a cane, but instead of hands touching the shelves, the cane might come into contact with one of the objects and may try to get around it. Tell the child that the objective is to go in between the two objects. That way they will be able to see the small space in between for themselves. A similar strategy can be used to demonstrate wide. I think talking about the space in relation to concrete objects really helps. Obviously this would take some refinement depending on the age of the child and what objects are available. Hope this helps.

Previous comments for Ideas for teaching the concept of “wide”?

Patricia Elgersma commented on December 4, 2013

It would really depend on the age, but if the student is relatively young (5-9) I would recommend walking through space. Even construct a space where maybe something like two bookshelves are placed close together. And then maybe within that space place two chairs apart from each other. I wish I could remember what the proper O and M terminology was, but I was taught as a child walking sighted guide that when the person's elbow came in close to me that we were walking through a narrow space. I could sense it because the space was made small on account of the two objects we had to pass through. When approaching the space the person assisting could say something like "come in close beside me, it's going to be a tight squeeze!" Assuming it's a younger child. If possible, when going in between the space put the child's hands on the two objects obstructing the path and say something like "see these shelves?" (insert object for shelf) "We have to get around these and there's only a little space for us to fit through!" This could also be demonstrated if the student walks with a cane, but instead of hands touching the shelves, the cane might come into contact with one of the objects and may try to get around it. Tell the child that the objective is to go in between the two objects. That way they will be able to see the small space in between for themselves. A similar strategy can be used to demonstrate wide. I think talking about the space in relation to concrete objects really helps. Obviously this would take some refinement depending on the age of the child and what objects are available. Hope this helps.

Melissa Browning commented on December 4, 2013

Maybe use shelves ...put things in stacks next to each other to see how many fit.
Try running a car through a tube (but maybe watch out for narrow) and vary sizes... or it may fit a car but not be wide enough for a truck. Or You could use toilet paper tube vs. paper towel vs. wrapping paper and place them like a dowel (left to right) ..Or try cutting wrapping paper in different widths to see which is a better fit to wrap a present or cover a piece of cardboard.

Charlotte@Perkins commented on December 4, 2013

Have him sort things (wide book/narrow book, wide block/narrow block), etc. Put all of the "wide" things in one basket, and the narrow ones in the other.You could also make braille lines (or wide black lines, depending on his vision) that are WIDE apart and then narrow. He could mark the one that is wider. You could also walk around and look at WIDE desks, WIDE doors. Which is wider the teacher's desk or the student's desk?

We hope you'll let us know how things go with this!