Outline image of a feather.

What am I? Inference activity

Can your student infer the object/animal from these clues and tactile graphics?

To infer is to “read between the lines”. Readers make inferences when something is not directly stated in the text. Students draw conclusions, these conclusions are often based on their individual experiences. Inferring is more challenging for those students who do not have as many experiences to draw on. Students who are blind or visually impaired cannot gather experience from visual sources, such as watching TV, illustrations in books or images in apps. Think about it – how does a student “experience” a lion? Students with vision learn about a lion’s physical characteristics through watching movies with lions and viewing pictures of lions; few students have had direct experiences with a lion. Students who are blind or low vision experience things tactually and certainly have not had hands-on exploration of a real lion’s features!

What am I? game

The “What am I?” activity is designed to combine inferring from reading a description with a simple tactile graphic image of the object or animal. Students are given 3 lines of text (the clues), followed by the question, “What am I?” and are asked to infer what the object or animal is. The accompanying tactile graphic provides opportunities for the student to build more robust concepts about the object and the following discussion about the tactile graphic can help fill in gaps. The tactile graphic image can also be used to help identify the answer or the student can be asked to pair the clues with the corresponding tactile graphic.

The clues infer what the object is without giving too many obvious descriptions. Did the clues provide specific information describing the physical characteristics of an object/animal that is supported by the tactile graphic or did the student have to consider possibilities, eliminate potential objects, and draw solid conclusions?

Here is an example:

I am soft.

I can tickle.

I can float in the air.

What am I?

outline image of a feather.

Depending on the student’s base skills, the student might learn more by exploring the tactile graphic and pairing that tactile image with the real object – in this case a feather. This will not be possible with all objects.

Modification: Have four tactile graphics images on a page. Ask the student to explore and try to identify the images first. Then provide the clues to one of the images. Can the student match the tactile graphic with the clue? This may be easier for students who do not have as many experiences with the item.

Tech skills variation of the game

While the 3 main goals are to practice inference skills, build tactile graphics skills and to expand student’s experiences, this activity can also be used to practice various tech skills, such as navigating line by line through the text. Here are a few more tech skill examples:

Clues and images

The What am I? clues are provided in one document. If the activity is done over a period of time (one set of clues and images per day/week), copy and paste the desired set of clues to a new document. The activity is designed to be a digital activity to practice the student’s tech skills (auditory or read on a braille display) but the clues can be embossed for a print braille activity.

The digital images are created to be printed on Swell paper and run through a tactile graphics machine, such as the PIAF or Swell machine. These images can also be printed on a copy machine for low vision students.

Most of the images are a full page, simple outline image of the item. If desired, copy and paste multiple images into a document and make the images smaller. Four images to a page works well; images can be smaller for students with good tactile graphics skills.


What am I? themes

Create your own What am I? clues and images based on what your student is currently studying in class. The theme might be a specific type of ocean animals, plants, weather patterns, holidays, etc. Use vocabulary words (nouns) and create clues about the vocabulary word.

Even better, ask your students to create the clues!

If you create your own clues (and images) please share them with us at [email protected]!

Thank you!

A big thank you to the creative TSVIs in South Carolina who created these clues and found the images. This What am I? activity was part of the 2023 SCAER conference presentation, Tech in the Classroom: When and What presentation by Diane Brauner.

Additional inference resources

By Diane Brauner (with help of the SC TSVIs!)

Back to Paths to Technology’s Home page

Silhouette of child giving a flower to his mom and text

Mother’s Day Activity: Presentation Tech Activity with Self-Advocacy Skills


Where Do Commas Belong? Grammar Activity

Colorful speech bubbles and thumbs up image with text

Add and Pass Activity: Google Docs Collaboration