A few years ago, I was looking for stories for my younger students that would involve daily, familiar routines and could be adapted into braille. I decided to create simple, repetitive stories about daily routines illustrated with "real" objects. We had several Perkins Pandas and I decided to make Perkins the main character in each.
The students and I would "read" and retell the books using all the "props" to act out the story. My goals were:
- Retell familiar story.
- Track braille from left to right and top to bottom.
- Identify objects by touch.
- Turn pages and identify front, back, and “right side up” of a book.
Extending Braille Activities with Perkins
We also used Perkins as a "helper" during our braille time. I made flashcards with two braille symbols on them. Student would be asked to find all the cards that were the "same" or "different" depending on what kind of bamboo Perkins was hungry for that day. If the student chose "same" he had to look carefully and only give Perkins the cards with matching symbols. As the student knew more about braille, we would give Perkins all the cards with a "b" or "g" on them. This was very motivating for the preschoolers and gave them ample opportunity to practice beginning braille skills.
Perkins Eats Breakfast
Perkins Goes to Bed