Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Dot 5 Composite Signs, Their, These and This

Dot 5 Composite signs
This is Section 5 of a series of braille lessons by the same author.
This section focuses on Braille Dot 5 Composite Signs and dot 45 the and dot 456 the in UEB (Unified English Braille).  Note that Composite signs are those which occupy two or more consecutive cells.
The lessons can be used as both reading and writing activities.  They are divided into three parts and a new set of signs is introduced in each section. In the second section, there is a small, optional writing task.
Please use this with your students and provide me with as much feedback as you wish, both positive and critical.

Part 1: Dot 5 Composite Signs

Using day, ever, father, here, know, mother
day – dot 5 d
ever – dot 5 e
father – dot 5 f
here – dot 5 h
know – dot 5 k
mother – dot 5 m

Dictate the following sentences for the student to write using the Dot 5 Composite Signs listed above:

It has been a long day on the road for us but we are here. All of us safely here. We go up the bank into the drive.

I thought we would never get here.

My Mother and Father and I look up.

We can see words written in black paint on an old wooden sign.

Random High School. I can see why it is called that I remember thinking.

From where I sat I could see some sort of lesson taking place in front of the school.

Their day had not finished yet. How long were the days here?

You can see people stood in a line from the front door bending round the side of the main building and away from view.

Every student was humming something, like a song. Every person made the sound move, it sounded like it anyway.

My Mother and Father must have known this school was odd.

I looked at my Father, why did we ever come here?

HUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM quite loud people, quite odd

HUMMMMMMMMMMM stop and start just like that

HUMMMMMM stop start go stop go start HUMMMMMMMMM

I did not know what was happening.


Using there, these, this and their – mini tasks

there – dot 5 theThese in Simbraille
these – dot 45 the
their – dot 456 the
this – th sign – this is made using dot 1456
Try writing the signs and their meaning in grade 1 (uncontracted) braille. For example, write "there" in grade 1 and then write dot 5 the.
Read and copy these sentences:their in Simbraille
  • There is a funny school called Random High.
  • Their lessons are on strange subjects.
  • Students at this school are very different.
  • These students go to lots of after school activities and lessons.

Part 2: Dot 5 Composite Signs

Dot 5 composite signsStop here are some more signs:
part – dot 5 p
question – dot 5 q
know – dot 5 k
right – dot 5 r
some – dot 5 s
time – dot 5 t
lord – dot 5 l
one – dot 5 o
under – dot 5 u
work – dot 5 w

That line of people was making me feel quite worried. This was a scary part of my day. As the sound stopped it would soon start again as the person at the front would run quite far. All the way, right to the back of the line. Not for long. Some other people joining in. What do you think this is? My first question was, is this a party?

Knowledge of what to do was known by the runners. They had known about this party. This part I did not know about. I was just looking. People then moved up one. Time for them all to do more humming.

Right from the front of the line party, the person started humming. In time every sound moved in the direction from the front to the back. So on it went and so did my questions. I wanted to hide under the car seat. Oh lord, oh lord! Sometimes you have to say, have you seen anything like it? I do not think so. Every person, every sound, I do not know. Will it stop? That was the question and I did not know the answer to it.

People humming and then running to the back of the very long line. All three of us, me, my mother and father looked from the car window. Every person rather odd. Rather fast the way the sound moved.


Part 3:  More Dot 5 Composite Signs 

name – dot 5 nWork and Young in Simbraille
young – dot 5 y
This part of the day was odd. All I wanted to know was what the school work would be like once I was here. There is so much still to find out. These people just wanted to run and hum. In the name of the lord, I did not know what was going on. Their welcome was a timely reminder that I had too many questions. Then this happened...
Tap tap tap
Sat there in the car we all looked up. This thing was thick like a tree and green like the grass. It looked at us. Did it have a name?
Tap tap tap
Er, hello. Still there was no name. There it is stood looking at me.
A green flash, it moved. Rather large shoulders and a head coming into view. White and yellow teeth snapping open and words came out. At the time I thought, there are so many questions. Not that today had been odd or anything. Yeah right.
Can you be young Malky? Is that your name? You are very young. You will have been travelling all day. You have. I can see that. Not a lot of time left now. Will you come with me?
I have not moved as quick before. I was now at the front of the line but not sure how. Their running had stopped. Was mine about to start?
Come on young Malky lad, go on!
Not sure who said that. I did not know. There they were all stood, behind me.
Come on Malky! Come on! Can you HUMMMMMMMMMM
I can, I will, I do not want to but I can. Did my Mother and Father know about this? Will this go on forever?
So it went
There was people behind me. They started and that was it. I will run. I had to go. This was it. But my legs were not my own, they felt rather heavy but fast. Knowledge of how to move came from someplace else. The time I was running felt long and short. Knowledge is all I have as I go fast. I will do it! Is there a name for this thing?
Off I went, running fast. Faces flashed past as my legs span around with no effort.
I saw faces as I moved down the line. Not all like mine. Not all like anything or something I had known. A group were dressed in black. There they stood with their bright, young, white faces and scary looking sharp toothed smiles. At this point no names were known to me. The HUMMMM continued.
I saw very large students with hunched shoulders and hairy faces. Every one of them were wolves. I had no names for them. Very, very scary. I kept moving. I saw a very grey man, I think, or a shape. Something was there I think. There were some people which I could not see clearly. Just a blur. Just knowledge of something. There was a large octopus and a few small young ones too. A man made of fire. He said, hi young lad, as I shot past his blazing heat. There were others, more about that later. I got the end of the line and my mind was spinning. The HUMMMM stopped.
HUMMMMMM it started again. This time I was frozen still.
It is nearly over, one voice said to me. I looked to my left. But by this point I was not shocked to see a robot with sparks shooting out of its head. His hand flying towards me to shake my hand. I could live forever and not see something like this again, in all my time on earth.
How do you do?
Good thanks, this is quite odd. Every one of us shocked, my mother, father and I. Here he comes.
The bosssszzzz!
The big green flash that spoke to me earlier was coming down the line as the HUMMM continued. Leaping and something like a jump. Each time three normal steps at a time. He finally lined up next to me. What I now saw was a seven foot lizard with a huge jaw lined by razor sharp teeth.
That’s it, all done said the Lizard. Everyone has had their turn running and humming. That includes you young Malky, he said. He went on, Malky, welcome to our welcome dance, run, humming thingy. We only do this for new students. Everyone is here he said, as I looked down the line. They are only here to see you. This group of people were going to be my class mates and teachers.
This is Random High, explained the Lizard Boss. Any questions?
OK, I said, do we have time?


braille practice collage


braille practice

Posted by Candace Sanders

More activities for braille practice

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Posted on October 31, 2016
Updated on: February 7, 2018

Previous comments for Dot 5 Composite Signs, Their, These and This

Charlotte Cushman commented on November 2, 2016

Hi Candace,

We're so glad to know that you've found this helpful!  Have you checked out John's other activities?  Have a look at the other ones listed here:

Candace Sanders commented on November 2, 2016

I have been looking for activities like this! Do you have any more like this that you are willing to share.