This Braille activity accompanies the read-aloud story The Secret Code in the Houghton Mifflin Reading Series. After reading The Secret Code, I teach my students about Braille using the 1st SMARTBOARD page I designed. I ask my students if they have seen Braille anywhere. I ask them why they think Braille isn't written like the alphabet letters they are learning. I ask them why they think Braille is important. I then move on to SMARTBOARD page 2. I explain that they are going to make and read a couple of words in Braille by using split peas. I show them how split peas are shaped like the Braille bumps. I then drag the dark green circle (it is infinitely cloned so you can drag it as many times as necessary) to form the word cat. I then tell them they will have to write the word ball by themselves using the Braille chart. I pass out the Braille activity sheet where the students will paste down the split peas. I tell them to start from the gray lines above each letter and then work down. I make sure each table has Elmer's glue so students can dip and paste their split peas down on paper. I also tell them to draw a picture of each word after they are finished. There is also an activity below the Braille page. The students write words they know using the letters of the alphabet. Then, they write the words in Braille using their pencils to make the dots. The following day, after the split peas have dried, I have my class close their eyes and feel the split pea Braille bumps. I see if they can find certain letters on their papers without opening up their eyes. I have had students take the Braille papers home and come back to write me messages. Students have a lot of fun with this activity and they learn about the importance of Braille. On SMARTBOARD page 3, I show an example of a finished page.
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