The Tactile Science Lesson: Using Play-Doh is demonstrated by Kate Fraser. In this video, Kate demonstrates how a teacher can use Play-Doh to quickly illustrate concepts in the science classroom for the student who is visually impaired. She gives examples of how tactile models can be made for chemistry, biology, and earth science lessons. In addition, Kate talks about how the student can also demonstrate his/her understanding of a concept using Play-Doh.
FRASER: Hello, I'm Kate Fraser, I'm a teacher at Perkins School for the Blind.
Today we're going to be talking about using Play-Doh to quickly illustrate concepts in the science classroom for a student who is visually impaired.
Play-Doh can be commercially purchased or you can make your own. It's easy to work with and in this example, the first example here, we have an example from chemistry.
This is a historical model of the atom, where J.J. Thompson believed that it was positive matter with electrons stuck in it. He called it the Plum-Pudding model, and this gives the student a chance to have a hands-on example of what that model looked like.
Also from chemistry, we can talk about this being an oxygen atom, these being smaller hydrogen atoms, and talk about the bonding of the hydrogen and the oxygen.
Here, we have some Play-Doh that is hardened, but the student could also do this in class, or you could do it right at the moment and form a chromosome, including the band that forms around the chromosome before the cell begins to divide, and these are chromatids.
Also, in biology, imagine this is a cell and you're teaching the concept of cell division, cell fission, for a unicellular organism.
In earth science, let's say you want to show valleys and mountains, reshape it and make a valley between two mountains.
So this works both for the teacher to illustrate a concept, or the student to be able to demonstrate their understanding of the concept.
And again, in science we use models to illustrate things that are either too small, or too large, to be easily seen. So in this case, you can make models that can be easily examined by a student with a visual impairment.
And that's our teachable moment for today about using Play-Doh in the science classroom for the student who is visually impaired.