Seven places I don't take my blindness cane.

Exploring the Structure and Function of a White Cane Compared to a Cell

Students who are blind or visually impaired will compare the structure and function of their canes as a correlation to the structure and function of cells.

This activity was born of a warm-up in one of my textbooks.  As an introduction to the idea of structure and function in 7th grade science, the students were asked to describe how the structure of a hammer relates to its function.  It occurred to me that some of my students may not have used a hammer before and that a more applicable example would be to have students relate the structure and function of white canes as this important tool is part of their everyday lives. 

This warm-up than served as an introduction to the lesson on the structure of various types of animal cells, red blood cells, muscle cells, and nervous cells, and skin cells.



  1. Remove pg. 2 (various cells) of the APH Life Science Tactile Graphics for each student for the discussion.
  2. Students will use their own canes for this discussion. 


Students will be asked to consider the structure of a cane as related to its function.

Students may work alone or as a group to compose a list of ways the structure of the cane correlates to its function.

My class came up with the following:

Whatever your class decides to focus on is fine.  The key is that they grasp the idea that the structure of a cane is vital to the cane serving its function.  

After the activity, segue into a discussion of cell structure of various types of cells using the APH Life Science Tactile graphics (and text – if students are using one).  Also, see variations.  

Related Vocabulary 


NGSS Standards

2nd grade: PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

4th grade – Structure, Function, and Information Processing

LS1.A: Structure and Function

Middle School – Structure, Function, and Information Processing

High School – Structure and Function

LS1.A: Structure and Function

By Laura Hospitál

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