Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

What Are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving bulletin board

Thanksgiving is a great time to expand beyond the topics of turkeys, pilgrims and pie.  This idea uses real objects and tactile symbols to help students illustrate what they are thankful for.



Teddy Bear



  • objects, partial objects, and tactile representations of objects or activities
  • braille/large print
  • paper






  1. Begin by talking about what it means to be "thankful".  What do we mean when we say "Thank you"?   What are the things that make us say "thank you" in our hearts?  Family in braille
  2. Generate a list of things that the children are thankful for.  This can be done individually, in small groups, or as a whole class.  Ideas can be recorded through audio files, or written down in print or braille.
  3. Find ways to represent the things that they are grateful for.  A bit of leaves, pinecones, etc. may stand for "being outside",  a bathing suit may represent being grateful for going swimming, a dog collar or swatch of fur may represent a favorite pet.
  4. Support the children to create individual tactile books telling what they are grateful for.  Each page should include a representation, real object, photograph or drawing of what they are thankful for.  Add labels or text in print and braille.  Use a looseleaf notebook or metal rings to hold the pages together.  




Toys embedded on triwall cards with braille labels



  1. Create a bulletin board for the whole class with one example of what each student is grateful for.
  2. Make a single book for the whole class.




thanksgiving collage


Common Core and Braille Standards


W.K.1  Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is...).
W.K.2  Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
W.K.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
Posted on November 8, 2013
Updated on: February 7, 2018