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Based on prerequisites

Take into account where the children are in the learning process (braille, tactile, manipulation, cognitive skills).

Activity prerequisite skills need to be considered prior to lesson plan development.

Does the student have the prerequisite skills required to achieve activity completion?

A child cannot be asked to build consonant and vowel towers without previous letter recognition and knowledge of the tower concept.

Therefore, it is crucial to relate a student’s skill level to the list of prerequisites for each activity (braille, tactile, manipulation, cognitive skills).

Here’s an example with a multiple step pre-braille constellation activity: 6-Car Parking Lot (see 5.5)

In this activity, players perform multiple steps to relate and rank numbers one through six, and park the right car in the right spot. A parking lot, arranged like a braille cell to park six cars, is drawn on the baseplate.

A player rolls the die and reads the number which indicates the number of passengers in the car.

Next steps are to search for the correct bricks in the bowl, and then roll the second die to know where to park the car.

This activity is much more than rolling dice and placing bricks!

Let’s make a list of the prerequisites for “6-Car Parking Lot”. We need to be sure that students have the skills to:

  • Explore the base plate
  • Manipulate and orientate the bricks
  • Attach the bricks to the base plate
  • Place bricks in specific locations
  • Count up to six
  • Roll the die
  • Identify the number on the die
  • Find and count studs on a brick
  • Recognise the special organisation of the braille cell

If students need to learn or practice prerequisites, you can find ideas in the website to help them.

Activities are short enough so that several ones can be performed in one session.

Age indicators are not included in activities. Remember that all pre-braille categories and braille characters are a good, basic source for ideas and prepare students for the toughest skills taught in literacy and numeracy.

Here is a selection of pre-braille activities to help children improve skills and acquire sufficient knowledge before playing “6-car parking lot”:

1- Free-play: In this activity, students will discover the toolkit at their own pace. This important step is sometimes omitted or forgotten. Visually impaired students need time to touch the bricks, try to position them and invent their own activities. You can leave five or 10 minutes at the end of the lesson for free play, or you can start with it. Even with a free play activity children will develop amazing skills.

2- Cake decorating: If you want children to be confident while placing bricks on the baseplate, this activity is a good one, aiming to develop fine motor skills, explore the base plate and work on pattern identification while decorating a cake. This can be also a warm-up activity.

3- Place in Squares: Other activities help children to learn how to attach bricks on the base plate. In this one, children look for squares on the base plate, and place one brick inside each. That’s exactly what we want them to do in “6 car parking lot”: take a brick and place it at the right spot!

4- Apple Trees: Discover orientation of the bricks and how to explore the baseplate while planting apple trees.

These preliminary activities can help children build the skills they need to meet the prerequisites and succeed in 6-car parking lot.

Help students acquire prerequisite skills for performance of complex multiple steps, by choosing appropriate activities, medium and support.

This allows students to gain a good foundation for their work, improve their skills and gain confidence for future activities.

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Learning through Play with LEGO® Braille Bricks

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