Lessons and materials

Supporting early maths and literacy with Robert the Robot

Literacy and numeracy activities for young children who are blind or visually impaired

By Gwyn McCormack


  1. Cut the tickets out (description of robot) and give one to each child in the group, so they can help to read about a different part of the robot in the book.
  2. Show and let the children explore where each 2D part is on the 3D robot model.
  3. Allow the children to explore the shapes and think about the shapes that are different and the same.
  4. Find the 3-D shapes and help the children to find the faces, edges and corners. Count them, make a chart with the information found. 
  5. Allow the children to join the head and body and then match the pairs of features, two legs, two arms, two eyes, etc.
  6. Match the labels to the features.
  7. Allow the children to help build the robot. Finding, holding the boxes and sticking the robot together will be exciting.
  8. Find some faces on the shapes that are similar to the robot in the book.
  9. Support the concept of  oneness of one and twoness of two. Two legs, two arms, two eyes etc
  10. Allow the children to choose their own shapes and help them to make a model. Help them explore it’s features of 1’s or 2’s.
Robert the Robot
Robert the Robot
Robot composed of different shapes
Robot composed of different shapes


  1. Make up a story about the adventures of Robert when he goes shopping/plays at the park/seaside for the day.
  2. Dress up as Robots, talk in Robot voices and move like Robots!
  3. Have a Robot tea party/picnic.
  4. Make a vehicle for the Robot to travel around in, use recycled materials to make a vehicle big enough to play in. Make a list of places Robert could travel to in his Vehicle. Make a map of one of the routes he may take, maybe to another planet!
Robot book
Robot book

Text of robot book (sample):

  • Jack designed a robot.
  • On its head he gave it 2 eyes.
  • Then he put on 2 ears.
  • On its body he gave it 2 arms and 2 buttons.
  • Then he gave it 2 legs and 2 feet.
  • After he made a robot with boxes.

Visit https://www.positiveeye.co.uk/ for additional creative ideas and suggestions for supporting children with VI.

Email: gwyn@positiveeye.co.uk