Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Braille Book about Deaf Camp Experience

Writing experience book in braille
My son Liam (age 8, deafblind, braille reader/writer, first language American Sign Language) went to camp for the first time earlier this month.  We drove 10 hours to get to Camp Sertoma of the Great Plains Regions for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth.  It was my hope that by attending this camp, Liam would get to meet children his age where ASL was also their first language.  Liam had a great couple of days, met many new friends and tried many new fun things.  I am thankful Liam had this opportunity.  

I have made many experience books with and for Liam before. An experience book is a book that is created for, by or with a student that tells the story of an experience they have had. In the past, while Liam was a pre-braille and early braille reader, I was the one that had created the books for Liam about his experiences and we usually collected "artifacts" or tactile symbols that represented various parts of an experience. He had helped some, but it was mostly me. Now that he is soon to be a third grader, Liam reads and writes braille. I wanted to give him the opportunity to create a book by himself about his experience!

Materials: 

Procedure: 

Riding in a boat at camp   Climbing wall at camp

  1. Liam wrote the cover page.
  2. I asked Liam what happened on our trip.  He was the one that decided what went into his book and he wrote the sentences by himself.  I tried to give as little input as possible, as I wanted this book to be his words and I wanted him to have ownership of his book.  
  3. I helped with spelling and grammar as needed.  I allowed Liam to make some mistakes mostly in the tenses (for example swim vs. swam as that is a completely separate language lesson.  I corrected some, however I didn't want to stop him for every little error so it wouldn't be overwhelming).  My objective was for him to get his thoughts down and we did get the spelling correct with the proper contractions.   It is an option to revise and rewrite the book at a later time.  
  4. When the pages were completed, Liam helped me bind the book with the binding machine.  

Helping to bind book

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This video is captioned, so be sure to turn on the captions.

 

Cover of Deaf Camp experience book

 

Deaf Camp by Liam

 

 

 

 

 

Deaf camp book p. 1

 

Deaf Camp far.  Grandma, Mom, Leslee, Liam and Finn Drove long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deaf camp book p. 2

 

 

I swim.  I eat three times.  I rode boat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page from Deaf Camp book

 

I meet new friends.  Jaydan, Jeremy John

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deaf Camp book p. 4

 

I climbed.  I touched bell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Liam proudly shared his book with me.  We then called Grandma and Papa over so that he could read the book to them also!

Reading book with his grandparents and signing what's on the page.   Reading the book to grandfather

 

Experience Book Pros:

There are many positive reasons to create an experience book with children of all ages.  Children can write about their experiences in print or braille, or use pictures, tactile symbols, or other materials to share their stories.

  1. Experience books can help guide instruction.  I was able to use this book to assess what skills Liam was proficient in and to see areas where he could use more support.   
  2. This project was very motivating for him and he was confident with his writing and sharing his work.  Experience books are a way to continue to support a love for literacy!  
  3. Experience books are always a great tool to support and encourage communication.  

 

Liam's previous experiences books (starting with the most recent):

 

We hope you'll try making your own experience books with your child!

Variations: 

For children who are not yet reading print or braille, you can collect objects or bits of tactile materials to illustrate the book, with each item representing part of the experience.

Collage of Deaf Camp experience book

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