Tactile School Maps

Tactile School Maps

In response to Perkins’ post about maps of schools for orientation and mobility lessons, I will share one such map I made for a former student. The link for the Perkins post is here: http://www.pathstoliteracy.org/creating-tactile-map.

Click on the photo above to see the set of seven photos of my tactual map of the middle school.

With limited resources a teacher will resort to anything. This was a map for a student about to enter sixth grade at a four story middle school. She had only ever attended one small elementary school.

Hot glue guns did NOT exist at the time of creation. The yarn was soaked in Elmer’s Glue and placed on the hard cardboard to indicate exterior walls. The cardboard was from a strong spiral notebook backing. Lines of Elmer’s Glue was used for interior walls.

Staples were used to indicate stairways. The hallways were fine sandpaper.

The doorways were beads and the girl’s bathrooms were ric-rac. Self-sticking lamination sheets were used to create braille stickers of room numbers.

We practiced reading the map before we even entered the school to practice. The student then visited the school once a week during the spring and summer before starting her new school.

The map took a lot of time to create to make it durable enough to use during 1/2 a year. By the time the student entered the school she was a successful traveler.

The map gave the student a chance to explore the building before entering but it also gave her a chance to use a representation of the real thing. Tactile graphics take time to read and comprehend. The student must take the pieces and create a whole picture. It was such a worthwhile project I did this many times for students, but this was the only one I kept.

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