I have created interactive alphabet books as part of Circle Time Braille Kits. Using different shapes and textures, each page presents a different task to help students to develop basic concepts, such as counting, more/less, positional concepts, and shape. This particular alphabet book for the letter “M” is designed to be used along with Five Little Monkeys. See my blog post: Circle Time Braille Kit: Five Little Monkeys and Five Little Monkeys Tactile Book. I have posted it here as a separate activity, so that you can see photos of all of the pages.
- poster board
- braille writer
- black marker
- foam shapes
- ziplock baggies
- index cards
Cut poster board paper into 11” x 11” and run through spiral cutter (to make holes for the spiral binding). Poster board is heavier than braille paper and will last longer.
The top left side of each page will have the braille/print letter m followed by the m word for that page. The middle of the page will have the activity. All pages will have braille m m m m m across the bottom of the page. When appropriate, the directions are in braille and print one line above the row of m’s (at the bottom of the page). (Example: “m match” is placed at the top left of the page, the matching activity is in the middle of the page, the directions are the second to last line at the bottom of the page and the row of “m’s” are across the bottom line of the page. Some pages will have a Velcro strip with objects on back of the last page (left of the spiral binding) to allow more space for the activity.
Braille the pages before adding the activities. Print the words above the braille, whenever possible.
m (first page):
- braille letter m in the middle of the page with the large print letter m above it. (Print m is about 3” and from raised sticky back letters that are used to put on mailboxes, etc.)
- Foam square, circle, triangle, heart and star shapes are adhered to the page. Beside each shape is a Velcro circle.
- On the back of the previous page (to the left of the spiral binding) is a Velcro line. The matching shapes (with Velcro circle adhered to the back of each shape) are placed on the velcro line. The student will move the Velcro shapes to the correct, matching position on the right page.
- Directions: Match the shapes.
- Always use super glue gel to adhere shapes, as the sticky back will eventually fall off.
- Multiple shapes of various sizes and colors are adhered around the page forming a big circle. In the middle of the circle, is a foam square.
- Directions: Which shape is in the middle of the page?
- Three velco circles are spaced out in a line across the middle of the page. Below the Velcro circles is a Velcro line. Two foam hears and a foam square (Velcro is adhered to the back of each shape) are placed on the Velcro line. The student can move the shapes to the correct position on the Velcro circles.
- Directions: Put the square in the middle.
- Five monkeys (same shape and texture as the monkeys used in the tactile book) are adhered in two lines across the middle of the page.
- Directions: Count five monkeys.
- The page is divided in half by a vertical braille line (“for”) with a black line (permanent marker). On the left side of the line, “more” is in braille and print; on the right side of the line, “less” is in braille and print. A vertical Velcro line is placed on each side of the dividing line.
- On the back side of the page (to the left of the binding) is a vertical line. Seven large foam hearts, each with a Velcro dot super glued to the back, is placed on the Velcro line. The student will move the hearts to the correct position on the activity page.
- Directions: Put more hearts on the left than on the right.
- Four Velcro strips are placed along the four edges of the page (one Velcro strip at the top of the page, one at the left, one at the right, and one at the bottom – just above the braille/print directions.
- Super glue Velcro circles to the back of three medium squares, three medium circles, three medium triangles and initially place the shapes on the left Velcro strip. The student will move the shapes to the correct position.
- Directions: Move the circles to the top, the squares to the bottom and the triangles to the right.
m mix the money:
- Use two zipper style plastic baggies to hold the objects. Staple the baggies using a line of stapes at the bottom of the bag, positioning the bag so that the zipper is closer to the top of the page. The bags should be off set with the first bag higher and to the right side of the page; the second bag should be lower and to the left side of the page. Turn the page over and place masking tape over the back of the staples so that staples are covered.
- Place four quarters and four pennies in the top bag. (If the student is unable to sort money, the objects can be changed, so that there are coins and poker chips, different shapes, etc. If desired and the book is only used with one student, food items such as M&Ms, mints, etc. can be substituted.
- Directions: Sort the money into different bags. Now mix the money in one bag.
- Make a braille line (“c”) from the left side of the page to the right side, leaving enough room to adhere a felt star. Space down (to the center of the open page) and braille a shorter line (“c”) midway across the page. Later adhere a textured heart. Space down again and braille (“c”) and later adhere foam shape of a man, stacking a shirt, pants, and hair on top of the foam man. Be sure to braille the entire contents of the page, including the lines, before adding textures. Using a permanent marker, draw a bold line along the braille lines for students with some functional vision.
- Directions: Trace the line to find the man.
- Create a maze using red foam (easier to super glue the foam vs. using sticky back foam). A maze outline is included that can be traced on the back of the red foam. Place a small star at the exit of the maze.
- Directions: Go in the maze at the top. Come out of the maze at the bottom.
m Which cards have the letter m? (last page)
- The last page always has two envelopes, one above the other, adhered to the page. The flap is sealed inside the page and a black permanent marker is used to outline the opening. Braille “yes” on one envelope and “no” on the other envelope (before adhering to the page!) Print the words above the braille.
- Using colored index cards, braille one random letter in the middle of each index card. Along the bottom of the card, braille a line of the same letter. Cut the top right corner of each index card. Make three index cards with the letter “m”.
*When finished with every page, add the plastic front and back cover and then spiral bind the alphabet book.