Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Making Ferdinand the Bull Accessible

Picture symbols for Ferdinand the Bull
As part of the graduate coursework for Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities in the Teacher Preparation Program in Visual Impairments at the University of Kentucky, students were asked to complete four projects: Story Box, Picture Communication Symbols for Story Box, Tactile Communication Symbols, and Talking Book Project.
 
We are sharing them on Paths to Literacy and hope that others will use them!  Please add your comments at the bottom of the page.

Story Box

I decided to put my story box items for Ferdinand the Bull in this plastic container because they will be easily transported and secure in it.
 

Explanation of Items in Story Box and what they represent:

  1. cow skin the other bullsStory box items for Ferdinand the Bull
  2. bull horn bulls butting heads and sticking each other with their horns while they played
  3. cow bell Ferdinand’s mother, the cow
  4. bull figurine Ferdinand
  5. flowers what Ferdinand loved doing, smelling flowers
  6. tree figurine Ferdinand’s favorite place, the cork tree
  7. mini sombrero the men in funny hats that were looking for a bull to take back to Spain for the bull fights
  8. golf tee bumble bee stinger
  9. cart what Ferdinand rode in on the way to the bullfight and on his way home from the bull fight
  10. red satin pillows Matador
I chose these items because each one represents an important character, object, or/and part of the story.
 
Background knowledge that may be needed is information about bulls.  The student should know bulls are male (boy) cows and that they like to play with each other by bumping heads and playing rough.  This can be compared to the way kids play, or sisters and brothers.  They should also know that cows sometimes wear cow bells, and that a cow bell is a metal thing that makes a sound and goes around a cow’s neck.  Make sure and share, when reading the book, that Ferdinand’s mom wears a cow bell.  The student should know what a cart is and that it can be used to take things from one place to another.  The student should know that Spain is another county, or a place far away (depending on the age of the student), where people have different ways of having fun than we do.  I also would give a quite general idea about what *bull fights are (not going into detail) and the people involved, making mention of the fact that their names (Benderilleros, Picadores, and Matador) are Spanish words.  Matadors use big, slick feeling capes when dancing around the bull.  I would also tell them that a stadium is a place where lots of people watch a big competition, comparable to a place where people watch football games.   
 
*Bull fights are when men called Banderilleros, Picadores, and the Matador will stick the bull with things to make him mad.  The matador uses his red, satin cape and dances around the bull.  They do this in front of a big crowd of people who have fun watching the men and the bull compete against each other in a big stadium. 
 

5 Ideas for Implementation of the Tactile Objects in the Story Box

  1. Questions and answers using objects (same questions from communication symbols, included at bottom of this document) and also a yes or no answer card, gesture, or verbalization.  
  2. Match the items from the story box to the card with the picture that stands for the same thing as the item.  If a card doesn’t have a match lay it down by itself.
  3. Use these items and the objects or characters they stand for to make a new and different story, or use some of these objects and create a new ending to the story (depending on ability/age of student). 
  4. Hand out items to a group of students and let them each act out a different character or part of the story as you read it.
  5. Give each student a different object that can have a sound that goes with it.  Talk about the different sounds that could go with each item.  Have each student practice the sound that goes with their object, then have them go one at a time, making a “Ferdinand Story Sound Song”.

Questions to Accompany Story Box Items

  1. Who is the story about?
  2. What does Ferdinand like to smell?
  3. Where does Ferdinand like to go to smell the flowers?
  4. Does Ferdinand like to play with the other bulls?
  5. Who is worried about Ferdinand?
  6. What were the men who came to pick a bull for the bullfight wearing?
  7. What did Ferdinand sit on that made him act crazy?
  8. Did the men like the way Ferdinand acted after he sat on the bumble bee?
  9. What did Ferdinand ride in, to get to the bullfight in Spain?
  10. Who was the main person that fought Ferdinand at the bullfight?
  11. Did Ferdinand fight back?
  12. What was Ferdinand paying attention to at the bullfight?
  13. Was the Matador mad that Ferdinand wouldn’t fight?
  14. Ferdinand was different than whom?
  15. Is it okay to be different than your friends?
  16. Did you like the story?

Picture Communication Symbols for Story Box 

Activity:  Ferdinand and picture symbols

Go over background information needed to set up the book.  Read the book Ferdinand the Bull.  Give the student the communication choices made with Board Maker.  Read the questions to the student and check for comprehension.
 
I chose these symbols because they go well with the items I chose for the story box.  These symbols are also good representations of those characters and objects from the story.  There is also a “yes” and a “no” symbol for answering questions and giving opinions.  
 
I would implement this activity after we had discussed background information and I had read the book to the student.  This would be a good lesson to go with learning about being different than others, and that everyone is different in different ways.  There is nothing wrong with being different.
 

Background Knowledge

Background knowledge that may be needed is information about bulls.  The student should know bulls are male (boy) cows and that they like to play with each other by bumping heads and playing rough.  This can be compared to the way kids play, or sisters and brothers.  They should also know that cows sometimes wear cow bells, and that a cow bell is a metal thing that makes a sound and goes around a cow’s neck.  Make sure and share, when reading the book, that Ferdinand’s mother wears a cow bell.  The student should know what a cart is and that it can be used to take things from one place to another.  The student should know that Spain is another county, or a place far away (depending on the age of the student), where people have different ways of having fun than we do.  I also would give a quite general idea about what *bull fights are (not going into detail) and the people involved, making mention of the fact that their names (Benderilleros, Picadores, and Matador) are Spanish words.  Matadors use big, slick feeling capes when dancing around the bull.  I would also tell them that a stadium is a place where lots of people watch a big competition, comparable to a place where people watch football games.   
 
*Bull fights are when men called Banderilleros, Picadores, and the Matador will try to make him mad.  The matador uses his red, satin cape and dances around the bull.  They do this in front of a big crowd of people who have fun watching the men and the bull in a big stadium. 

 

Questions to Accompany the Picture Communication Symbols

  1. Who is the story about?
  2. What does Ferdinand like to smell?
  3. Where does Ferdinand like to go to smell the flowers?
  4. Does Ferdinand like to play with the other bulls?
  5. Who is worried about Ferdinand?
  6. What were the men who came to pick a bull for the bullfight wearing?
  7. What did Ferdinand sit on that made him act crazy?
  8. Did the men like the way Ferdinand acted after he sat on the bumble bee?
  9. What did Ferdinand ride in, to get to the bullfight in Spain?
  10. Who was the main person that fought Ferdinand at the bullfight?
  11. Did Ferdinand fight back?
  12. What was Ferdinand paying attention to at the bullfight?
  13. Was the Matador mad that Ferdinand wouldn’t fight?
  14. Ferdinand was different than who?
  15. Is it okay to be different than your friends?
  16. Did you like the story?
 

Tactile Communication Symbols

Activities:  Tactile symbols for Ferdinand the Bull

  • Have student pick one of the person/animal cards and let them act that part out when reading the story.  
  • Another option, is to use the cards and sequence the story.  
  • You could also have the student use the cards to stand for different things, and then make up a whole new story.  
I chose these symbols because they go along nicely with the story box and the book.
 
I would implement them by using them in the above stated activities.  I would also use these cards to help address some English topics (depending on the student) such as nouns and verbs and compare to the corresponding action and person, place, and object cards.
 

Background Knowledge

Background knowledge that may be needed is information about bulls.  The student should know bulls are male (boy) cows and that they like to play with each other by bumping heads and playing rough.  This can be compared to the way kids play, or sisters and brothers.  They should also know that cows sometimes wear cow bells, and that a cow bell is a metal thing that makes a sound and goes around a cow’s neck.  Make sure and share, when reading the book, that Ferdinand’s mom wears a cow bell.  The student should know what a cart is and that it can be used to take things from one place to another.  The student should know that Spain is another county, or a place far away (depending on the age of the student), where people have different ways of having fun than we do.  I also would give a quite general idea about what *bull fights are (not going into detail) and the people involved, making mention of the fact that their names (Benderilleros, Picadores, and Matador) are Spanish words.  Matadors use big, slick feeling capes when dancing around the bull.  I would also tell them that a stadium is a place where lots of people watch a big competition, comparable to a place where people watch football games.   
 

Questions to Accompany the Tactile Communication Symbols

  1. Who is the story about?
  2. What does Ferdinand like to smell?
  3. Where does Ferdinand like to go to smell the flowers?
  4. Does Ferdinand like to play with the other bulls?
  5. Who is worried about Ferdinand?
  6. What were the men who came to pick a bull for the bullfight wearing?
  7. What did Ferdinand sit on?
  8. What did the bee do to him to make him act crazy?
  9. Did the men like the way Ferdinand acted after he sat on the bumble bee?
  10. What did Ferdinand ride in, to get to the bullfight in Spain?
  11. Who was the main person that fought Ferdinand at the bullfight?
  12. Did Ferdinand fight back?
  13. What was Ferdinand doing in the middle of the ring?
  14. Was the Matador mad that Ferdinand wouldn’t fight?
  15. Ferdinand was different than who?
  16. Is it okay to be different than your friends?
  17. Did you like the story?
 
 

Talking Book Project

Some students may prefer to use a talking PowerPoint book to read along with the book, while listening to the audio version.
 
This talking book is based on The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf.
Talking book for Ferdinand the Bull

 

Collage of Ferdinand picture symbols

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