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More information about Braille FUNdamentals Braille Curriculum

Games for identifying either letters, contractions or words

Braille Jeopardy
Create a set of 4 or 5 categories (e.g. words that star with a, t, m, b, g, I). As the students progress categories can change (e.g., alphabet, whole words, dots e.g., teacher gives the dot numbers and students tell the word, dot 5 words, short form words, punctuation, which does not belong in the pattern. Make a chart with boxes for $200, $400, $600, $800, and $1,000 going across and each of the categories going down. You will need a total of 25 questions ranging from easiest to hardest in each category. Ask the students to pick the category and the dollar amount. The teacher or another student keeps track of the questions left. The teacher or students keep score. An optional activity would be a final jeopardy question where the teacher picks the category that proves most difficult and the students bet a portion of their score on answering it. The teacher can decide whether the students will answer in the form of a question or just answer the questions directly, depending on the ability of the students.
Make a set of cards that have four words on them three of which start with a specific letter or have a specific contraction (e.g., apple, apron tire, animal or under some not work). Student picks a card from the pile reads the words, chooses the one that doesn't fit the pattern. The one with the most cards wins the game. Students can go back through their cards and earn an extra point or prize by naming one more word that fits the pattern on the card.
Cinderella's Closet:
Give students a set of cards that are shaped like shoes with words that are matched pairs, - one word on each card (e.g., same words, same initial letters, rhyming words, same braille contractions). Ask the student to help Cinderella organize her closet by matching her shoes into pairs that are the same word, or start with the same letter or rhyme or are the same kind of contraction
Make up riddles for the letters or words in the cluster (e.g., "What begins ball and ends rib, if you say I'm an f, you'd be telling a fib?" Choose form b,g,i. "If I'm pizza you want me, If I'm liver you don't." Choose from but, go, more. Students read a card with the letters or words form the cluster and give the correct answer.
Balloon Burst:
This is a game for students who are not afraid of balloons or loud sounds. Insert letters, contractions or words in balloons. Inflate & knot. Ask the students to sit on the balloon, pop it and read the word.
Clothespin Clip:
Letters, contractions or words are placed around a cardboard circle. A set of clothespins has the same letters, contractions or words. Students match the clothespins to the letters, contractions or words on the card. Variations: Students hang the letters, contractions or words on a clothesline with the matching clothespin.
Rope Race:
Attach the rope in two different spots on a classroom and affix letters, contractions or words along the rope. Student travels along the rope and reads the words. Students can race each other or race against the clock.
Go to the Well:
Each student goes to the well and pulls out a card and reads it, If he reads it correctly, he keeps the card and can pull another card to read. Students can continue until three cards are read correctly. If he cannot read the word he passes it to the player to the right (this gives that player a chance for an extra card), and his turn is over. The player to the right then continues his turn. At the end of the game the students count up their cards.
Capital Cones:
Make ice cream cones with lower case letters and make scoops of ice cream with the capital letters. Put Velcro on scoops and cones so they can stick together. Ask the students to match.
Use two sets of 6 alphabet cards with Velcro attached to the front of the card. Place them face down on carpet or felt. Ask the students to turn over two at a time and read the letters out loud. If they match the student can keep them. If they do not match they should be returned to their original positions. Move to the next player. Continue until all cards are removed and the one with the most cards wins. This can be played with 1,2 or 3 players.
Graph It!:
Use tactual graph paper with a letter in each box. Teacher gives direction (e.g. south 2 spaces, or up, down, left right) Student reads the letter & gets a point for each correct answer). Variation: Teacher plots a shape on the graph. After reading the letter, student puts a pushpin in. When all the letters are identified the student has made a shape.
Put a braille letter on each side of a block. The student tosses the block & reads the letter/configuration. If correct, they earn a point. A student needs all 6 points to win.
Make a spinner containing one free spin, one loses a turn, and the desired braille letters or configurations. Students spin and read the letter. The first student to correctly read all the letters wins. Variation: Spinning Wheel: (Teacher's Gold Mine 207)
Mother May I:
Students are given a set of 5 cards. The student reads the card. If read correctly, the teacher tells the student how many "baby steps", "giant steps", etc. he can take. Students must ask, "Mother, may I?" before they move or they must go back to the beginning.
Treasure Hunt:
Place flash cards at various locations in the room (e.g. next to the computer, by a child's desk). Students are given clues to help them find each card. When they find a card, they must read it before being given the next clue. The last clue leads to a treasure.
Set up a baseball diamond in the room with chairs or desks. Give the student cards to read. They can take a base each time they read a card correctly.
Rollin', Rollin', Rollin':
Make a game board with the letters b, i, g, m, a, t. . (Letters may be repeated along the board and other letters may be substituted for b, i, g, m, a, t.) The student rolls the die and moves that number of spaces along the board. He must read the letter on that space and name a word that begins with that letter in order to stay in that spot. If he cannot do one of these things he must move back to his original position. The first person to reach the end of the board wins the game
Outburst and Outburst, Jr.:
This game is adaptable and fun to play with older groups of students.
Go Fish:
Use multiple sets of flashcards. Follow rules of regular Go Fish game.
Fish Fry:
Put letters, words, or configurations on fish shaped cards. Put the cards in an old frying pan. Using a spatula, students take turns flipping fish out of the pan and reading the flopped out fish. If they read the fish correctly, they may keep it. The student with the most fish at the end of the game wins.
Bingo (Braillo):
Use a commercial Bingo game and braille the letters, or make your own Bingo cards with the words or contractions you want to focus on.
Loony spoons:
Place a set of letters, contractions or words on paper cups and the same set on wooden ice cream spoons.) Each student takes a cup from the top of the stack. The first student draws a spoon from the pack of spoons and reads the word and checks to see if it matches his cup. If it matches she keeps it, if not she passes it to the person to her left. That person also checks it for a match. If the spoon doesn't match any of the players it is returned to a bone pile. If the spoon and cup match, the player keeps the cup and spoon and draws another cup from the stack before taking another spoon. At the end of the game the players count their matched cups and spoons.
Jigsaw puzzle match:
Make four interlocking pairs out of heavy duty material like foam board or mat board. Each piece should have male Velcro on the underneath side so it can attach to a carpeted surface. Each piece will need an additional piece of Velcro on the top side. Velcro matching pairs of the desired letters, words or configurations to each pair of puzzle pieces. Attach the left half of each pair to the carpeted surface. Give the student the right halves and ask him to match the letters words or configurations to the same one on the left. Alternatives: Put the contracted word on the left and the spelled out word on the right, or the number sign on the left and the number word on the right.
Secret code games:
Make up a silly sentence or riddle substituting numbers for letters. Write a code for assigning a letter to each number. The student rewrites the sentence substituting the letters for the numbers on the key and then reads the complete phrase. Alternative: write out the name of a treat. The student will earn the treat after solving the code.
Flip board:
Attach stacks of letters or contractions together in 2, 3, or 4 sets. The students flip through the stacks of letters to combine them into words.
Spread a pile of Flashcards or Rhyming words on the floor. The student drops a clothespin with a parachute on to the cards and reads the card where the parachute lands. If the student can read the card she keeps it, if not it is returned to the floor.
This commercial game can be adapted for braille practice by providing the students lists of words to read and choose from. Arrange lists in categories to fit the categories in the stories (e.g., nouns, verbs, adjectives).
Rhyming time:
The students draw a card, read the word, name as many words as they can that rhyme with the initial word within a specific time. Students get a point for each rhyming word. Variation: Students have to give a specific number or rhyming words to earn a point.
Tic Tac Toe:
Use a tactual Tic-Tac-Toe game. Before the student makes a move, he must read a letter, word, or sentence.
This commercially available game can be adapted. Put one answer and three clues on each card. Each student gets a stack of cards (or draws one a t a time out of the box). They take turns reading the three clues to the other players and the players try to guess the connection (e.g., elm, oak, and cedar = trees) The player who reads the card correctly gets a point and the player who answers correctly gets a point.
This commercially available game can be adapted. Make two sets of cards. Divide the players into two teams. Each card has a word that you want the players to guess and a list of words that you cannot say to make them guess it. The player says anything else to get the team to guess the word. A monitor from the other team also reads the card to be sure that the player does not say any of the Taboo words. Score a point for every correct guess without the taboo words being said.

Games for reading sentences:

Scrambled sentences:
Put a sentence with the words out of order on a flash card. Ask the students to unscramble the sentence and write it correctly. Make this more fun by giving the sentences a theme or making them tell a short story when they are all put together.
Sail Away:
Write sentences with one or more missing words on the base of sailboats. Put the missing words on the sails. Ask the students to put the sails on the boats to make complete sentences. (Use Velcro, magnets, or paper clips to fasten the sails.
This commercial game asks players to read a nonsense sentence aloud and the other players tell what common phrase it is supposed to represent. (e.g. ape herd hen Dee and = a bird in the hand). Braille out the cards for the students to read.
Spit it Out:
This commercial game can be easily adapted by brailling the sentence cards. Students are given three tongue twister sentences and the student picks which one would be easiest to say. They then say it as many times as they can in a given time limit.
Clever endeavor:
This commercial game can be adapted by Brailling the clue cards. Each card has a mystery answer. And a series of clues that range for easiest to hardest. The player reads the clues to the group choosing the ones that the other players might not get.

Games for reading & writing practice:

Two down & two to go:
Give students a list of four letter words with the two middle letters missing. Give them a set of cards with the missing middle letters for each word. Students match the middle letter combos with the list to make the words and then write the words.
Patchwork Quilt:
Make 20 patchwork squares with different textured fabrics glued to cardboard squares. Velcro q words onto the squares. Pass out the squares to the students. Ask the following questions and the student who has the correct answer puts his patch on the board or carpet to make the patchwork quilt. When all the card are laid down the quilt is complete.
  • Who is the lady who is married to the king?
  • What sound does a duck make?
  • What sea animal looks like an octopus?
  • What is the name of a vegetable that also means to crush?
  • What measurement takes four to make a gallon?
  • What shape has four equal sides?
  • What is the answer to a division problem?
  • What bushy tailed animal gathers nuts for the winter?
  • What is another word for being silent?
  • What do you ask someone?
  • What is the sound that a mouse makes?
  • What is another word for a short test?
  • What is the name of a French egg and cheese pie?
  • What is the name of the color that is a combination of green and blue?
  • What is a word that means you are sick to your stomach?
  • What can you sink into that feels wet and muddy?
  • What means that two things are the same?
  • What kind or bird looks like a partridge?
  • What kind of rock is shiny and clear?
  • What tool has a rubber edge and us used to clean mirrors?
Word Workout:
Give the students a small word (e.g., rat). Students write as many words as they can think of that have this word in it.
Every other:
Give students a group of words with every other letter missing. Give the category (e.g., foods, games, famous men, state capitals). Students figure out the word and write it.
Up & Down Words:
List a word in vertical order. In the next column list the word backwards in vertical order. Student add letters to make a new word using the two letters
  • b t
  • a a
  • t b
Variations: Choose any word on the student's level. The reversed letters do not have to make a word. The students can choose their own word to write up and down. The student earns a point for each word made.
this is a commercial game that is easily adaptable. Here is one way to adapt it. List five categories (e.g., cold things, boy's names, things at the beach, foods). Tell students to come up with one item for each category. Have someone pick a letter at random (e.g., rolling dice, spinning a wheel, picking a card). Tell students that adjectives don't count to fulfill the letter requirement (e.g. red popsicle) but two points can be awarded if the there are two words with the same letter that meet the category (e.g. Tim Taylor), Name each category and give each student a limited time to write the answer (e.g. 10 -15 seconds). When all the categories have been answered, go through and ask the student to read the answer for the first category. Score points if students have given an original answer. Answers cannot be repeated in different categories. Play the same 5 categories three times with a different letter, then change categories.
Construction crew:
Make short word list for nouns, verbs and adjectives from the cluster words that the students are learning. Ask the students to use these words to write a sentence. After a specific amount of time the students read their sentences, and earn a point for each word in their sentence. Continue each round of writing sentences keeping cumulative score for all the words used.
Wheel of Fortune:
Make a spinner with five hundred-dollar amounts (e.g., $200, $500) and Lose a Turn. Make a list of words or phrases containing the braille configurations that you want the students to practice. Students use a braillewriter to keep track of the letters in the word and letters that have been called but ate not ion the word. When the student knows how many letters the word has, it helps to write out the number of full cells on the page. The teacher picks the first word, gives the student a clue (e.g., category, person, place or thing and tells how many words or letters. The student spins and for a dollar amount he chooses a letter. If the letter is in the word, tell the student where the letter appears in the letter or phrase and have them record it on the page below the full cells. If the letter does not appear, Vowels can be bought for $100. If students are capable of keeping their scores on an abacus, encourage them to do so.

Games for number recognition:

Braille Uno:
This is a commercially available game. Also regular Uno cards can be adapted.
This is also called War. Using braille playing cards each student draws from a pile, reads the number and determine who has the highest number. The student with the highest number gets to keep all the drawn cards. If the same number is drawn, they each draw another card. The student with the most cards wins.
Use brailled playing cards. Each student is dealt two cards. Students look at their cards and decide if they want more cards or not. The student who comes closest to 21 without going over wins the hand.
Number Bingo:
Adapt a commercial game or make your own.
Crazy 8s:
Use brailled playing cards. Each player gets seven cards. Turn over the top card of the draw pile. Each player has to match the number or the suit of the card that is face up. 8s are wild and are used to change the suit. If you cannot play a card in your hand, draw from the pile. Draw until you get something that you can play. The object is to play all the cards in your hand and "go out."

Additional Activities:

Make a list of the letters, words or contractions being learned. Allow the students to decorate them with string, beans, stickers, torn paper, glitter, etc. Variation: Have student use a specified letter or configuration in combination with spaces, or not, to cover the bookmark with a textured pattern.
Phonics Quizzers:
Ask the student thought questions that reinforce phonics patterns (e.g., what did you see on the way to school that starts the same as cat?)
Greeting Cards:
give the students a list of occasion specific phrases to choose from when creating greeting cards.
Sequencing sentences:
Braille sentences or use sentences from the Literature section. Cut the sentences apart and give the students the sentences out of order. Ask the students to sequence and rewrite the sentences.
Opposite Outlook:
Put reading words in a can. The students pick out a word, read it and write its opposite. Variations: Students can be timed and count how many words they can come up with in a given amount of time.
Category Capers:
Give students a list of vocabulary words. Have students braille two or three category headings (e.g., starts with the letter __, related to nature, things people do, rhymes with hat, parts of our body) at the top of another paper. Students then read the words and write them under the designated categories.
Racy Riddlers:
Write a riddle or rhyme in grade 1. Students have to put it in Grade 2.
Rhyming Wheel:
Braille a rhyming pattern (e.g., op, at alt) on rectangular piece of paper. Attach it to a wheel with a brad making sure that the pattern shows past the wheel. Divide the wheel into quadrants with an initial letter(s) in each quadrant. The student moves the rhyming pattern around the wheel and combines the initial letter and the rhyming pattern to read the words (e.g., bop, drop, mop, stop). The students can then write these words on a separate sheet of paper.
Braille fortune cookies