We recently read the book Out Of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille by Russell Freedman which is part of Bookshark’s Reading with History K curriculum. It is considered part of the history portion of the program but it really threw the girls off because they kept asking to do history and were surprised when I brought out this book. This is the second book this year where the history lessons come in a longer storybook form. The first book of this kind was about Johnny Appleseed. So far the other history lessons have been much shorter stories that are done in one reading rather a week.
We really enjoyed this book so I wanted to throw in some extra activities for the girls. I found a blog with some fun ideas, http://www.bindisnbulldust.com/2015/09/05/the-story-of-louis-braille-out-of-darkness/. She offers some great printables that we used to practice writing the alphabet, CVC words and our names in braille. I laminated them so the girls could use them with dry erase markers. I printed out extra copies of the blank alphabet and name worksheets that I didn’t laminate so that I could put them in with the rest of Storyteller’s notebooking pages that she’s doing this year. Comedian (just shy of 4 years old) really enjoyed these and was so focused as she meticulously colored in every single tiny dot on the page.
I’ve found or made notebooking pages for most of the history topics and read aloud books this year. I love this way of documenting our adventures and Storyteller really enjoys doing them. I finally bought a subscription to http://notebookingpages.com/. It has countless pages to use for many topics. I still enjoy making my own but it is nice to have a large library to choose from when I need something quickly and don’t want to create it. I used a Louis Braille page from here for our notebooking page.
I headed to the library to check out some children’s books written in braille. In Out of Darkness there are pictures of the six dot braille cell but they are not raised dots. I thought it would be fun for the girls to actually see and feel a book written in braille. I had trouble finding the books in the library’s computer system so I asked a librarian. I figured that they probably didn’t have many and that they’d be grouped together instead of mixed in with the rest of the books. The first two librarians I asked had no idea but the third one pointed me in the direction of the foreign language books. They didn’t even have their own section with the foreign language books but were mixed in with the books written in Chinese. I ended up getting Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel because it’s a book we’ve already read. It has plain typed words on thick card stock type pages. A plastic page with the raised braille dots goes over each typed page. I also checked out You are Special by Max Lucado. It has the typed story along with pictures on thick glossy paper with a plastic braille page over each page. All of the braille books at our library were spiral bound. Looking at the books brought the braille system of reading and writing to life for us.
I looked online for short videos about Louis Braille. I didn’t find anything on Amazon Prime but YouTube had a few selections. Here are a few that we enjoyed.
This next one is narrated by a kid so the girls were able to see a report presented by a someone who is only a few years older than them.