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Activity and strategy

Keywords from Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch

Introduce keywords to beginning braille readers using tactile materials to develop braille literacy skills

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch by Ronda and David Armitage is a delightful story about a lighthouse keeper named Mr. Grinling, whose wife, Mrs. Grinling, sends his lunch to him each day in a basket on a pulley.  Everyday the naughty seagulls steal his sandwich from the basket and the story tells of the ways in which Mr. and Mrs. Grinling attempt to outwit them.

Many, many skills can be taught to children who are blind or visually impaired using this book.  Cross-curricular ideas are explored in detail in: Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch: A Cross-Curricular Approach to Reading Readiness for Braille. This post focuses on some of the keywords in the book and ideas for extension activities for beginning braille readers.


  1. Read aloud The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch.
  2. Encourage child to tell you the objects that were in the story and together make a tactile key word book.
  3. Encourage the child to identify the textures to use for each object or item.
  4. Provide a box of collage materials for the child to choose from. They are more likely to read the book and identify the pictures if you have involved them in this process.
  5. Encourage the child to hold the 3D object or model and relate it to and explore the 2D version of the object in the book.
  6. Encourage the child to feel or read the initial letter sound of the keywords in the book.

Here are some sample pages we created using braille, large print, real objects and tactile symbols for some of the keywords.  Be creative! Be sure to select materials that have meaning for the individual child.

tactile red dotted apron on green papertactile brown cat on orange papertactile basket on purple papertactile cakes on pink papertactile drink with straw on green papertactile pot of mustard on pink papertactile plastic plate on purple papertactile sandwiches on black papertactile picnic cloth with red and white checkers on black papertactile boat on red papertactile green hat on tan papertactile lighthouse on blue papertactile Mr. Grinling on yellow papertactile rocks on orange papertactile sea on yellow papertactile seagulls on blue papertactile striped red and white

Be sure to check out Gwyn’s other post: Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch!


keywords collage


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