A teacher recently asked how to make her pupils’ letter-learning tactile for an inclusive classroom of mixed abilities and developmental stages.
When teaching the alphabet to children who’re deaf, touch and movement can be key elements in a multi-sensory approach. The childrens’ visual memory is reinforced as they will remember the ‘feeling’ and ‘moving’ sensations from their learning process.
Tactile letters can be made by sticking materials onto card:
- Cotton wool
- Fake fur
- Foam squares
- Felt or other fabric
Try giving the children card letters for their own name, and asking them to ‘decorate’ these letters for a poster or classroom display.
Plasticine, playdough or clay can also be used to create tactile letters, or large plastic ‘bubble’ letters can be bought for future storage and re-use.
Asking the children to ‘trace’ these letters with their index finger, combines the visual and ‘feeling’ elements in multi-sensory learning.
One variation on this approach is to give each child a big crayon or marker and asking them to draw the letters of their name on a big sheet of paper on the floor, or on a white-board. The ground can even be a writing surface, if the children have chunks of chalk and space to draw the letters.