Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Games and Activities for Independent Braille Practice

Fish cards with braille words

My son Liam (deafblind) is now in fifth grade and attends public school in a mainstream classroom.  Most of his spelling work and braille work is taught integrated within the subjects of reading, writing and math.  Sometimes, additional specific braille work or spelling work is necessary.   Below I share three ways that I created independent activities that are quick and fun for Liam.  They were nice to have when we only had a few minutes to work on something or he was getting restless.  

Each of these activity ideas can be used to work on a range of skills (letter identification, whole words, specific contractions, etc.).  They can be done with a group of students, as a game, or individually.

 

Contraction Fishing!

AB Seas Alphabet Letters Magnetic Fishing Game

Materials:

 

Procedure:

I was given this AB Seas fishing game.  It is a game for print readers to match capital letters with lower case letters.  I ignored the print letters on the cards.  I decided to use the game for some contraction practice for some braille contractions that Liam was struggling with.  I wrote the whole word out on little cards and then, with braille label paper, I put the matching contraction on one of the little fish. 

List of braille contractions: whose, his, ever, character, these, upon  Sample braille word cards:  these, ever

I started by giving Liam only 5 fish to choose from.  I placed them on black construction paper as a contrasting background. I would give him one card with a word.  He would search the "fish" to find the correct contraction to match the card.  Then he would try to catch that fish with the magnet fishing pole.  He loved it!  It is a great way to quickly practice a specific skill and to break up the time, if your student seems fidgety or tired.   The labels come off easily, so it can be used for other purposes when finished.

Colorful fish with braille contractions: character and upon  Using the fishing pole with magnet

 

Fish on contrasting white paper  Fish with word list and braille word cards

 

Puzzle Words

Materials:

Procedure:

These puzzles can be used for any activity that involves matching.  I just ignored the pictures and words that were already written on the cards (although if your student needed work on those skills all you would need to do is add braille!).  I put the whole word on one side of the puzzle and the contraction for the word on the other piece.  Liam loved finding the matches!  I started by laying out all of the full words on the table.  I would give him one "contraction" piece at a time to find the match. 

Puzzle cards with braille words and contractions  Sample braille contraction card

 

Pushpin Matching Game

Boy taking pushpins out of a plastic cup  Boy reaching up to place word card on bulletin board

Materials:

  • Large or small cork board
  • Pushpins
  • Braille words on cards
  • Container to put the pins in
  • Container to put the matches in

 

Procedure:

This activity was a great way to get Liam out of his seat.  He chose to sit on the floor.   Liam has weekly spelling tests that all of the fifth graders take.  This week happened to be print contractions that of course included braille contractions as well!  Some of the words included shouldn't, doesn't, wouldn't.

The contractions with the apostrophes were in a pile and I gave him one at a time. He then matched them with the two words that form the contractions that were pinned to the corkboard (e.g. wouldn't = would + not). He then took the cards off the corkboard and placed the match into a separate bowl, like a finished pile. 

Reading word cards on bulletin board  Set-up for independent work task

This game is similar to the others, in that he had to match the word with the contraction, but in a different format to make it fun.  This activity can be used to support a variety of objectives.  

 

Other ideas for worksheets and independent work tasks:

Independent Work Tasks for Beginning Braille Readers

Collage of games and activities for independent braille practice

Posted on December 30, 2019
Updated on: December 31, 2019