Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

PE Symbol Song

By Megan Mogan


This student is a high school female with a diagnosis of Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH) and additional disabilities.  She is a tactile learner and would be considered pre-braille.  She uses whole objects, partial objects, and tactile symbols to support her reading goals. 


  • Short-Term
    • Have a shared, meaningful interaction around a single topic (PE)
    • Demonstrate understanding of the written word/tactile symbol “PE” outside of a quiz-like setting
    • Gain experience in reading for pleasure as well as reading for organization/schedule
  • Long Term – Use the symbol to correspond with a day of the week in order to anticipate different activities on different days within PE

Screenshot of Planning the Activity:  PE Symbol Song


Download the transcript.


I never would have imagined during my training in Speech and Hearing Sciences that I would one day be improvising lyrics to “Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer” when teaching emergent literacy.  This student still had trouble accepting when she arrived at PE and there was no swimming, but the dysregulated internal state was shorter and shorter with the introduction of her days of the week schedule.  I hope that practitioners will consider using “Communication Intervention Plans”, such as accessible calendar systems (and the teaching and modeling of their access and use), in place of “BIPS” or Behavior Intervention Plans. Investment in these kinds of tools and “playing” with them pay in dividends with regard to literacy instruction, social connection, and self-regulation. 


Return to Playing with Words Introduction and Essential Components.