Materials needed for this O&M Lesson: sidewalk chalk

BlindSquare Readiness Lesson: Chalk, Walk, and Talk

O&M lesson that teaches concepts of 'clock face directions' and the meaning of the term 'yards'.

O&M Lesson: Chalk, Walk, and Talk


As a participant of the High Tech O&M  conference I felt inspired to use technology with my students during lessons. I have a new  5th grader with low vision  who excels in the area of technology. So, I jumped right into using BlindSquare in a “scavenger hunt”  lesson.  I set two destinations at the front of the school: the book drop and the third tree.  Each spot had a prize waiting when my student got there. I thought this is going to be great.  When we started to access BlindSquare she asked, “What does 2 o’clock mean?” And “About how far is a yard?” Then I realized what we had talked about at our conference, your student must have a good foundation of O&M skills to access BlindSquare. So, I needed to get back to teaching foundations to get this student ready. I needed to review clock and yards.  Here are some ways you can teach these skills to a younger student.

Teaching the clock

Materials: flexible measuring tape, side walk chalk, and 36 inch cane

Materials needed for the activities: sidewalk chalk, measuring tape, long cane


Student holding the end of the tape measure, stopping at 12:00.

Teaching yards

Measuring with a cane is a great way to teach yards, especially a 36 inch cane. You can also use terms like giant strides or you can measure the distance of a taller student from their foot to where there cane tip touches.

Start at the curb and measure using chalk or place cones at the top of the cane. A parking area with 10 yards from curb to curb would be a good place to measure.

Student placing a long cane on the ground perpendicular to the curb to mark a yard.


My student and I worked on this lesson a couple of times. We began to talk about how many yards away a classroom was located or at what clock direction was the office from the gym. We dusted off the high contrast tactile APH clock and practiced setting times. Soon we will set a place outside and with few selected settings reach our destination.

By Heather Panico

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