Teachable Moments: Books

Hello and welcome to Perkins eLearning To Go! Each week our hope is to provide you with an inside look at special education topics, in particular visual impairment. Through a series of interviews with leaders in the field and a fresh look at our webcast series, we know you will learn something new when you are on the go. Now it's time to sit back, relax, and let's hear what this week's podcast is all about.
Hello and welcome to Perkins eLearning to go,  this is Valerie.  It is teachable moment time!  What is a teachable moment?  It is a short (4 minutes) recording on a specific teaching strategy that is easily adaptable into the classroom.  Today we will be listening to 5 teachable moments on adapting books for children with visual impairments. Want to see what these look like in person?  Not to worry, here are the links so you can view the video when you have time. 
Transcript: The Shape Surprise
Christa Hulburt talkst about adapted books for preschool students.Hi, I'm Christa Hulburt. I'm a teacher at Perkins School for the Blind and I'm going to be talking to you today about adapted books for preschool students.
This particular book that I made was created for a student with low vision, who is profoundly deaf and is cognitively delayed.
The book was made using fluorescent paper upon black construction paper, and then laminated.
There are also velcroed on elements throughout the book.
Bright contrast and bright colors book cover.The purpose of the book is to allow the student to help with book handling skills; helping turn the pages.
Also to really get them engaged in the activity, so I add the bright contrast and bright colors to get them excited, and also there is an element of surprise throughout the book to really get them engaged with the topic.
We're also going to be working on basic color recognition and shape recognition skills.
As we begin the book, we setup the surprise: "Let's go exploring! What will we find?"
Explore the yellow circle and velcro on the template.So here I would have the student explore the yellow circle; ask them to take the yellow circle. When appropriate, you may give them a choice of two to help identify which one is the yellow circle.
And then once they do that, they can match it onto the puzzle template.
And this is just a fun way for them to engage throughout the book, so as they go through, little by little, you start to see the image grow.
A flower with different shapes.And then at the end, "What did you find?"
And, surprise! It's a flower.
So just a really great way for a student to have fun with literacy, engage with their teacher in the discussion, and learn a few concepts along the way.
And that's today's teachable moment.
CONNAUGHTON: Hi, I'm Megan Connaughton. I'm a teacher at Perkins School for the Blind in the Deafblind program and today I'm going to be talking about my adapted version of Eric Carle's "The Tiny Seed."
This book was initially created for a kindergarten aged student who has cortical vision impairment, as well as physical disabilities.
The purpose of the story, in context for the student I created it for, is work on early literacy skills, such as book handling, scanning from left to right, as well as maintaining visual attention and working on visually guided reach. However, this story can also be adapted to be used for students working at a higher level of literacy.
The book was created to work on simple visual attention.When working with the student I created the book for, I introduce each page, which has a simple black presentation, as well as a mylar image of the main focus of each page.
The book was not created to work on concept development; instead to work on simple visual attention. For students who are working on higher levels of concepts, you could create duplicates of the pages to work on matching or for sequencing, and later comprehension questions at the end of the story.
To create this book, I initially went through and picked out the main concepts of each page and chose the visual representation for each page.
For instance, the first page of the story talks about a tiny seed being picked up and blown away by the wind. To represent this, I chose to use a silver mylar cloud, as well as streamers for tactile adaptation.
Each page of the story also contains a visual representation of the tiny seed, which is backed by red mylar to help with visual tracking.
Use of simple shapes to create each visual representation, such as blue triangles for mountains.Each page also contains a tactile element, which helps the student develop visually guided reach by allowing them explore the page tactually and then attract their vision to is as well. For each page I chose to use a simple black background and different colored mylar paper.
I used simple shapes to create each visual representation, such as blue triangles for mountains. I glued them on the black background and then laminated the pages for stability and durability.
After I laminated each page, I went through and added different simple tactile elements to each page to encourage the student to develop their visually guided reach.
Once I completed the different tactile additions to each page, I simply bound the book together using loose binder rings to create a full book.
And that's today's teachable moment.
Transcript: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Marguerite Bilms talk about her adapted version of the Polar Bear.BILMS: Hello, my name is Marguerite Bilms and I'm a teacher at Perkins School for the Blind within the Deafblind program, and I'm currently a preschool teacher and I'm here today to talk to you about adapting story books.
Today I've chosen the book "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?" by Eric Carle. It's a great book to adapt for toddlers and preschool learners, as it's fun, simple, and motivating.
I've taken the original storybook, there's a small as well as a large version, and for those of you who are not familiar with the book, it goes as follows:
Polar bear, polar bear, what do you hear? I hear a lion roaring in my ear.
Hand-draw image of a white polar bear.And then we move on to the lion.
So each page has its own particular animal with its color and its own sound. This is great when creating a story box or storybook because you have many options on how you want to teach the student.
So for each animal of the book, I've taken the main animal and I've chose to hand-draw it and simplify it. This way it has low complexity and high contrast, and the main point is clearly defined.
For those of you who do not want to hand-draw it, you can also take the original book and scan it in and then cut it out, or look on Google. You can find a variety of pictures of the animals on there, or if you're interested, you can print out pictures of real-life animals, depending on the learner of whom you're teaching.
In addition to providing the animal on each page, I've added a tactile component. This is for students who have Cortical Vision Impairment, low vision, or total blindness.
There's a bunch of variety; you can work on auditory skills as far as the animal sounds. You can work on tactile skills; feeling and exploring it. My primary purpose of this book was to work on color concepts for a preschool learner who was 4 years old.
In addition, we're working on a lot of pre-literacy skills, such as scanning left to right, top to bottom, which is essential for early learners and early readers. We are working on color identification, we are working on turn-taking skills; whose turn is it to turn the page?
Whose turn is it to pick an animal, when I'm asking for identification, as well as whose turn is it to make the more silly of a sound. If you'd like, you can add in an iPad in order to have the student press the iPad to activate an animal sound if they are unable to vocalize themselves.
Marguerite exchange the word white with bear.This book in particular was designed for a student who's working on color identification, so for exposure, I've provided one word that clearly defines what I'm looking for: white. White polar bear.
For those who are working on a different concept development, you could exchange the "white" with "bear". So we're talking about bear, which is more abstract.
So I chose not to work on it at this early stage, but eventually, you can combine it and make a sentence, so "the white bear."
So we go through the book, we have our white polar bear with a dried sponge, we have our sparkly lion, our blue sparkly hippopotamus, our silky smooth pink flamingo, our very bumpy black and white zebra, our bumpy, rubbery snake, our shiny-ear elephant, our plastic, bumpy cheetah, our shiny peacock, and our very fancy zookeeper wearing his very own button-up sweater.
The book has page bumpers for those working on fine motor skills.In addition to the book being held together with binders, I've also provided page bumpers for those students who are working on their fine motor skills to be able to turn the pages themselves and be able to orient the book.
They are provided on the bottom left hand side.
In order to create this book I first cut out the pictures and put them onto black construction paper with regular glue sticks. Then I laminated the pages and added the tactile components with hot glue after-the-fact as to not ruin the lamination.
While lamination is great and it preserves the book, it can also be a distractor, as it provides glare, so you must be aware of your environmental conditions when constructing a lesson with a student. So that was an adapted version of "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?" by Eric Carle and that's today's teachable moment.
Transcript: Supermarket Tactile Book
Ira Padhye discusses a tactile adapted book on Supermarket.Hi, my name is Ira Padhye, I'm a teacher at the Perkins School for the Blind in the Deafblind program and I'm here to talk to you today about adapted books.
I wanted to talk to you about this experience story I've made for my students who are between the age ranges of 11 to 13 years old, who are totally blind with hearing impairments and cognitive delays.
Now I really enjoy making experience stories based on experiences that the students have had in the past because it's very difficult to find age appropriate materials that also have simple language that my students will understand.
Supermarket book cover with several tactile elements.So this in particular is about the supermarket.
This might not look like the supermarket to you, but this is a little piece of my loop board that we use to create our shopping list, so this, to the students, means their shopping list, and these are the symbols that represent our field trip.
So every Wednesday we go to the supermarket with our shopping list; the shopping list and field trip, to them, means supermarket.
I have laminated paper, but oftentimes people are concerned about glare, but since my students are totally blind, glare is not a factor. And I use materials that are the actual objects that are also meaningful to my students.
A milk carton with the word milk brailled.I either use the actual object or scale down the actual object to a smaller size in order for them to fit on the paper.
So this is our story about the supermarket and it's broken down into 5 steps.
So, just like students with vision impairments, for who we want to create a simple visual representation. My students are early tactile learners, so I wanted to create a simple tactile representation for them too.
That means one object, or partial object, and just one word brailled.
In this instance, milk is the only thing that's brailled. So this page means milk and then this way the students can also open the milk and kind of take part in it.
A cereal box with the word cereal brailled.How I usually present this activity to my students is I get a shopping basket, I get the actual objects, so I have a whole container of milk.
So we'll go through each page.
So in this instance, we'll take the milk carton, we'll taste a little bit of the milk, we'll feel this page, and then we'll put the milk carton into the shopping basket.
Same thing with cereal.
A page with variety of coins and the phrase, I give money.We'll open the cereal box, we'll taste a little bit of the cereal, and then we'll put it into the cereal box.
So have the students go through the motions of the actual experience that they had.
I've used dried orange peel and then, I give them money, and then, we take the bag.
And that's today's teachable moment.
Transcript: What's for Lunch
Megan talks about her adapted version of Eric Carls book, What's for Lunch.CONNAUGHTON:Hi, I'm Megan Connaughton. I'm a teacher at Perkins School for the Blind in the Deafblind program, and today I'm going to be talking about my adapted version of Eric Carle's book "What's for Lunch?"
The book is about a monkey who is asking the repetitive question "What's for lunch?"
Each page of the book represents a different fruit choice that he has for his lunch. This book is a great opportunity for repetitive line use of a switch.
With the pre-recorded switch, the student can be prompted at the beginning of each page to hit the switch and have the monkey ask: [Voice on switch] What's for lunch?
The monkey asks, What's for lunch? upon prompting the switch.After that, we identify what's on the page, for instance, the first page is about a coconut.
So the monkey asks, "What's for lunch?" The response is a coconut. No thank you, monkeys don't like coconuts.
The student will be guided to reach out and identify the tactile representation of the coconut on the page.
Each page uses a bold visual representation, as well as a tactile cue, to encourage the student, who has Cortical Visual Impairment, to maintain visual attention, as well as develop their visually guided reach.
As we move through the book, the student is prompted to hit the switch and activate the line of the story.
As the student moves on through their lesson, they begin to learn that as I turn the page in the book, it's time to activate the switch and start the new page.
Visual representation and tactile cue of the fruits that are in the book.They are then prompted to continue maintaining their visual attention with each item of the page. On this page, we're looking at a red apple, which is a simple representation using a black background and red mylar paper, as well as a small tactile cue in the form of a felt leaf.
As we move through each page, you can see the different representations.
For this book in particular, I chose to first laminate plain black paper. I then created visual representations of each fruit described in the story and glued them on top of the paper. This allows for a more vivid image, as well as full access to the tactile representation on each page.
To create this book, I went to the Dollar Store and found different representations for tactile cues that you might not think to use, for instance, for the grapes, I used a purple loofah.
The Monkey receives his banana for lunch.For the orange, I used a simple combination of pipe cleaners and hot glue, and for the lemon, I used a yellow shiny gift bag.
I continued this pattern throughout the book, adding a simple visual and tactile representation on each page, until we get to the final page, where the monkey asks "What's for lunch?" and finally receives his banana.
To complete the book, I bound it together using loose binder rings to complete a full book for the student.
And that's today's teachable moment.

SPEAKER 2: Perkins eLearning To Go is a production of Perkins eLearning at Perkins School for the Blind. Perkins eLearning partners with school districts and agencies to provide customized training for educators of students with visual impairments and additional disabilities. Training agreements with Perkins eLearning give you the school-wide range you're looking for without having to take on the logistics of managing your program.

We are an ACVREP certified provider and are approved for continuing teacher and leader education CTLE requirements by the state of New York in addition to providing professional development points and continuing education credits. Certain titles are eligible for ASHA and AOTA credits. Contact us at perkins.elearning@perkins.org to discuss your training needs both short and long term, perkins.elearning@perkins.org.