Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Thankful Turkey Jar

Turkey jars

This Thanksgiving project was designed for my 8-year-old son, who is deafblind and a braille user to do alongside his younger brother Finn and my boyfriend's daughter.  This project uses a jar that we decorated to look like a pretend turkey.  Inside the jar we wrote things in braille and print that we are thankful for and attached the words onto popsicle sticks.  

I looked for ideas on Pinterest and used these two sites for inspiration:

 

Objectives:

  • To explore a variety of tactile materials
  • To generate a list of things one is thankful for and write them as independently as possible (on braillerwriter, with pencil, drawing, tactile symbols, etc.) 

Materials: 

supplies for the project including leaves, modge-podge glue, glue dots, and ribbon       
  • Glass mason jar
  • Leaves
  • Mod Podge
  • Fun textured ribbon 
  • Sponge paint brushes
  • Tissue paper
  • Googly eyes
  • Orange and brown construction paper (pre-cut into the shape of beaks and the turkey body)

turkey shapes cut out of brown construction paper

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Braille label paper and brailler 
  • Sharpie marker
  • Organizer tray to organize the materials for the child

plastic trays containing the supplies needed for the project

Procedure: 

  1. Create a sample model for the students to explore ahead of time.  Introduce each of the materials, explaining what they'll be used for and allowing children to ask questions.
  2. Together use Mod Podge to apply the tissue paper onto the jar using the foam brushes.

Liam is seated at a table, gluing the tissue paper to his glass jar

  1. With help, add the leaf onto the front of the jar using Modge Podge and the foam brush.
  2. Put the jar aside and allow it to dry.  
  3. Begin to write things that you are thankful for onto the braille label paper.

Liam writing with his brailler        things that Liam is thankful for on braille paper, family members are listed

  1. Cut out the labels and place them on the sticks together.

a flat wood stick labeled mom in braille and print text

  1. Go back to the jar (hopefully a little dry now) and add the body of the turkey, googly eyes  and the beak.
  2. Add textured ribbon onto the top of the jar.
  3. Place the sticks into the "Turkey Jar".  
Liam standing and showing off his final turkey jarLiam and his mother putting together the construction paper turkeys   
 
 
family sitting at the table making turkey jarsLiam sitting on a couch, reading the sticks           

Thankful turkey jar collage

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