Learning Objective: Students will learn how calendars and a table of contents are formatted, and be able to find various items in them.
Materials Needed: Copy of the calendar and table of contents from the Learning Kit.
Activity: I know there are lots of different ways you can access material these days. Goodness, one only needs to ask Alexa or Google, and they can find out anything, add a list of numbers to make sure they are right, find out things about history, music, science … you name it!
There are things you don’t realize, though, if you are not accessing braille regularly. Some of these include how names are spelled, the origin of a word, special days that fall in months that we are unaware of, reading a recipe just for the fun of it, or seeing how things are formatted. This week I’m hoping we’ll be able to become familiar with some of these.
Let’s start with the calendar. What is the first thing you notice when you look at the first page? Right, the name of the month is written in the middle, at the top of the page.
What is on the next line of braille. Yes, the abbreviations for the days of the week. Where is Sunday in that group of days? Yes, it’s the first one on the line.
Now, right under that line. Slide your finger along, and what do you feel? Yes, it looks like a, b, c, etc., but those are really Nemeth numbers. We do not have to use the number indicator on a calendar.
So, find the number 1, and go straight up from it. What day did January begin on? Right, it was a Wednesday. You probably know this, but how many days does January have? What day was the 31st on?
Now look down under the numbers, and tell me what you see. Yes, the special days in the month are listed there. What were all of the special days in January?
So, we said the 31st of January was a Friday, which made February begin on a Saturday, right. How many days were in February?
Now, let’s look back further in the calendar. Can you find September, and tell me what day it ends on? How about December? What day is Christmas on this year?
Next we’re going to look at the Table of Contents which was also in your Learning Kit.
What is the first thing listed? Yes, it is acknowledgements. This is a thank you to the people who helped the author with his/her book.
Notice the guide dots after the word. Follow them to the right, and what do you see at the end of the line. Yes, it is a small letter I, which is for the Roman Numeral 1.
What is the next title under acknowledgements? Do you know what preface means? A preface gives you some information before you actually start reading the story. The next word, Prologue, is kind of the same. I just decided to throw it in so you could see more roman numerals.
After this, you see a number at the beginning of each line. These represent chapters. Can you find the name of chapter 7, and tell me what page it is on?
How many chapters are there, and what page does the final chapter begin on?
Well, we’ve explored a couple of formats today. Tomorrow we’ll look at a couple more. By the end of the week I hope you’ll know more about how things are arranged in various documents, and be able to find them easily.
Learning Objective: Students will learn how a menu is formatted, and how parts are written for different characters in a play.
Materials Needed: McDonald's menu and Gift of the Magi script.
Activity: Although some restaurants have braille menus, as blind people we often have to have the menu read to us. This means we never quite get the same experience that others do, as they sit reading about all of the mouth-watering entrees and desserts on the menu.
This McDonald's menu doesn’t have all of the prices on it, and it contains some items which aren’t available at our McDonalds, and might not be at yours, either.
But it will give you a chance to look at the descriptions of some yummy sounding burgers, chicken sandwiches, and other goodies, too.
Let’s start off by reading it together. Menus are often written with the name of the entrée or dish they are talking about at the margin, and the description starting in the 3rd cell below it. We have the Angus burger first. As you read through this, notice the dot 5 followed by the in sign. This is the asterisk, which looks like a little star. This means that beef is special! Also, notice the dots 4-6 followed by a low j. This is the UEB percent sign. The w with a forward slash after it simply means with.
Now, slide your finger down until you find the title Big Mac. This is the first item that has a price after it. See if you can skim the description and find the price at the end. How much is it?
The breakfasts begin on p9. What is the first item listed in this category.
Beverages start on p15. What is the first beverage listed? What is the last one?
Now let’s look at the play that was in your Learning Kit. What is the title of it? Who wrote it? How many characters is this script written for?
If you look right below the characters, you’ll see Time, and then Scene 1. What do we see at the beginning of Scene 1? What is Della doing as the curtain rises?
Notice that the character’s name is written at the left, and what they say always begins in the 3rd cell.
Who is the first character to speak in the play? Who is the last?
If we have more time on Friday, perhaps we’ll read some more of this play. Though it is a Christmas story, it has a great message for us all.
Learning Objective: Students will use braille materials to learn how poems and recipes are formatted.
Materials Needed: Braille poems and recipes from Learning Kit.
Activity: Everyone is familiar with poetry, whether it’s as song lyrics or nursery rhymes…we all grow up knowing some of them. We’re going to begin our time today reading some poems together. Then we’ll read a couple of simple, but delicious, recipes.
What is the name of the first poem on your sheet, and who is it by? Let’s divide up the number of lines so everyone can do some reading. Notice that if there is not enough room on a line for a word, that word—or however many words are left in that line--is written in the 3rd cell.
That was a nice little poem. You may be familiar with this next one. What is it called, and who is it by? We may just have to each take one line, but we’ll divide it up again.
That is definitely a familiar poem, isn’t it?
This next poem is very short … just one verse. What is it called and who wrote it? Does someone want to volunteer to read it? Yes,I think the author is right … I wouldn’t want to be one, either!
This next poem is a nice one, too. What is it called, and who wrote it? There are two verses here. Do we have two people who would like to read for us?
We’re to the final poem now. What is it called, and who wrote it? Shel Silverstein has written some very funny poetry. I think you’ll enjoy this. It isn’t written in verses, but perhaps we can each take a couple of lines and read it together that way.
Now, let’s look quickly at a couple of recipes. These are not long, or complicated to make, but they are delicious!
The first one is for boiled chocolate frosting.
This is the kind of frosting that is like fudge!
In this recipe the tablespoon is written with a capital T, and the teaspoon is written with a small t right before the number. Let’s read through it, with someone reading the first ingredient, then someone else reading the 2nd one, etc. When we get to the instructions, we’ll keep on alternating.
So … you ready for some nice chocolate sheet cake with this fudge-type frosting? Well … I don’t have any for you, and I couldn’t get it to you if I did, so sorry!
Now let’s read the 2nd recipe. This is a lot like the first, but when you put this topping on ice cream, it gets chewy!
In this recipe the Tablespoon is written Tbsp, and the teaspoon is written tsp. If you read recipes much, you’ll see that this often happens. In some recipes the cup is written with a c right before the number sign, or it could be written with a C. following a space after the number.
The ½ cup is easy to read in this recipe; it looks like any other fraction, but with literary numbers instead of Nemeth. Sometimes 1 and ½ cups might be written 1-1/2, and sometimes it is written number sign 1 and then another number sign right after the 1, with a ½ following it. Much of recipe reading is common sense, so just try to stay calm, and I know you’ll figure it out.
Let’s read this recipe, taking turns as we have been.
We got through quite a bit today.
Tomorrow we’ll go back to the calendar, and I’ll ask you some questions and see if you can find the answers.
Learning Objective: Students will revisit using the calendar, and demonstrate that they understand the concept by answering questions individually, and making notations of dates that are special to them on the bottom of the sheets for the months. They will also spend time beginning to read the play for the reading experience and to familiarize themselves with how a play is written.
Materials Needed: Calendar from Learning Kit, brailler, and copy of the play from the Learning Kit.
Activity: Students will each be given dates to look up. They will also be asked to report on the special days listed at the bottom of one of the month pages.
If this goes well, and time permits, they will decide on a date that is special to them, roll the page for that month into the writer, and write the date and its significance at the bottom of the page.
If there is still time, we will also begin reading the play, since I’d like to see them get through it by the end of Friday.
Learning Objective: Students will experience how plays are formatted by reading through the rest of The Gift of the Magi.
Materials Needed: Copy of the play from the Learning Kit.
Activity: Today we will continue reading through the play, and hopefully we can finish. If there happens to be too many students for them each to take one part, we will alternate.