Tactile journals are a way for students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities, to describe their experiences. They provide an opportunity for students to work on communication and self-expression in written or verbal form, in addition to the tactual representations. In addition, they can be a tangible way for students to practice counting skills and number concepts, as shown on the pages here.
In the activity on the right, the student counts a specific number of Hershey Kisses into a bag for snack. This is a functional activity practicing left to right sequencing and counting, with an end product that can be shared with classmates or sold to others.
There is an endless list of specific items that can be used to create these, but the list below gives you some ideas to get started.
Students should participate as independently as possible in each step of the process, with staff guidance where necessary. These can be journals that follow a theme or cover a specific period of time.
1. Ask students what some things are that they can count (e.g. children in the class, numbers of shoes, number of windows, number of musical instruments, etc.)
2. Have them decide how they want to create a picture to show how many.
3. The procedure will depend upon the specific materials that have been selected and what the students want to depict in their tactile pictures.
Students can show a sequence of numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) in a single book, as illustrated with these pages of swings