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Activity and strategy

Teaching Many Skills Through Christmas Cards

Making Christmas cards and sending them is a great way to practice numerous skills with students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities.

Researching How to Mail Letters

Since my students just learned about making cards to give to their families last  month, we took the lesson a step further this month by researching how to mail letters.  We used information from the USPS (United States Postal Service) site. We utilized the Google extension Read&Write to read the article to us using the simplify (only text no images) and then clicked play. 

Addressing Envelopes

We learned how to address an envelope and put stamps on it for mailing. For those students who require braille, they worked on their communication skills in directing another to address the envelope for them. They also had to communicate to the main office on their campus to request assistance in mailing their cards.

Decorating the Cards

This time we used foam ornaments that one would make for a tree to use as our artwork on the front cover of our cards. Some I bought at Hobby Lobby/Michaels type craft stores and others were bought from Oriental Trading under the kids craft ornament section. The students had the option to draw their covers, but everyone wanted to make an ornament to glue down. This was a good time to work on left/right, top/bottom as they placed the ornaments on various places on their cards.

Feeling the tactile snowman Placing tactile snowmen on card


Decorating the snowman  Decorating snowmen

One of my students is in a life skills class where the teacher invites me to join in the classroom activities. On Friday, I led my student and her peers in making the cards. She enjoyed being in the class with her peers and doing this activity with them. All students practiced communicating, as needed (e.g. “pass the glue” or “I need help”).

Writing the Message in Braille

We discussed what to say on a Christmas card and what type of greetings might be appropriate.  The students wrote their messages in print or braille, as independently as possible, with some of them dictating their messages for an adult to write.

Christmas card with text in print and braille


Text on card

Merry Christmas!  Grateful to be blessed with such a wonderful family!








Finishing Touches

In addition to practicing addressing the envelopes, we also talked about how to add stamps to the envelopes (this is a great opportunity to work on positional concepts, such as top right!).  Placing the cards inside the envelopes is also a great way to practice in/out, left/right, and correct orientation. Finally we mailed our cards through the school office, which gave the students a chance to practice their orientation and mobility skills.

Placing the card in the envelope  Placing the stamp on the envelope

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