ALIKE AND DIFFERENT
Teacher of lesson: Megan Matthys
Grade Level: Kindergarten

WEEK ONE CENTERS

CENTER 1: TOUCH

Students will explore their sense of touch by identifying things in a mystery box without looking. They will begin to understand that you donÕt necessarily have to be able to see something in order to identify it correctly. When introducing the center activity, express to the students that blind people rely heavily on their sense of touch to help them with many things.

Create four mystery boxes by covering the top of a box with black material pulled tight with duck tape around the edges. Cut a slit in the center of the top so that the students can reach their hands into the box but cannot see into it. Number each box one through four. In each box, place items that the students can try to identify by feeling them such as a pencil, a coffee mug, a banana, an apple, a sponge, a hole puncher, a paint brush, etc. Explain to the students that when they are at this center, they need to take turns reaching into each box and feeling the object. After they think they know what it is, they need to draw a picture of their guess, or write the word on the worksheet provided next to the corresponding number. Tell the students it is very important that they do not look into any of the boxes. Once all the group members have shown you their finished worksheets, call the group over and let the students see if their guesses were right. It will probably be necessary to change the items in the mystery boxes for each new group.

CENTER 2: LISTENING

This center group will be paying close attention to their sense of hearing to identify certain things. Explain to the students that blind people are very good listeners, and their ears make them aware of things that their eyes canÕt. For example, a blind person can often tell who just walked into the room by the sound of their footsteps if they know them well, or they can use their ears to help them identify who is talking to them by the sound of the personÕs voice. When introducing this center activity, ask the students if they can think of any other things a blind personÕs ears can tell them.

For this center the students will have six numbered paper cups filled with different things such as popcorn kernels, rice, sand, raisons, grass, and small pebbles. The shaker cups will be made by taping two cups together. Also at this center there will need to be small containers of each item that is in the cups which the students can see. Explain n to the students that their job will be to shake each cup, then look at the different containers full of stuff, and then try to guess which item they think is in the cup by listening to how it sounds. When they decide what they think is in cup number one, they should take a kernel of popcorn, some rice, some sand, or whatever they think it is, and glue it in the area provided for number one on their worksheet. Tell the students that they absolutely cannot take the tops off of the cups because they could create a big mess. Explain that when everyone is finished you will call all of the group members over to see if their ears helped them make the correct guesses.

CENTER 3: BRAILLE

When introducing this center, ask the students if they know how blind people can read books. They canÕt read with their eyes, so what do you think they use instead? After getting ideas from the students show them what a book in Braille looks like. Explain how a blind person must use their fingers in order to read. Also show them a chart of the alphabet in Braille.

At this center, the students will have the opportunity to look through a large selection of books written in Braille. They will be able to feel them with their fingers and learn how blind people read. The students will also be creating their name in Braille on a small piece of posterboard. They will have to find the letters of their name on the Braille alphabet chart, and then copy the patterns of the dots on their piece of paper with a pencil. After they have all the dots drawn, a teacher will help the students press on each dot with a pin, and then they will be able to feel their name in Braille. Tell the students that they need to also write their name under the Braille letters so that everyone else will know whose name it is. Hang the Braille names up on the chalkboard for the students to feel.

CENTER 4: TEXTURE

For this center, explain to the students that they will be creating a piece of artwork that a blind person can enjoy as well as a person who can see. Tell them that it will be art which is exciting to feel and look at. Show the students the tub full of all different supplies such as felt, construction paper, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, sand paper, feathers, etc. Explain that you want each student to create a picture of something or some kind of design using many of the different textured materials. When the students finish their artwork tell them to close their eyes and run their fingers across it and think about what a blind person might think of it. What kind of words could a blind person use to describe their picture? Is it rough in spots and soft in other spots? Is it smooth or bumpy? etc. Explain to the students that they should think of words to describe their artwork to share with the rest of the class when they show their picture during sharing time. The students' artwork can be hung up on the bulliten board for everyone to enjoy.


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