Examples of how Science concepts can be made accessible and fun to children who are visually impaired

Positive Eye

This helpful sheet looks at some varieties of real life concepts that would be explored in a Science lesson. And how they can be adapted with a variety of different equipment or tackled with a different approach to help make them accessible for children who have a visual impairment.

Teeth and Eating

  • Make flash cards in large print or braille, e.g. diet, incisor, molar.
  • Collect an assortment of food and food packets for grouping and sorting.
  • Collect models of animals.
  • Source a large set of teeth.
  • Prepare tactile or large print diagrams to show the structure and cross section of a tooth, using a variety of textures.
  • As a class, construct a giant sized model of a mouth with egg box teeth, containing some foil for fillings and a tongue made from chicken wire covered in paper mache.

Light and Shadow

  • Make vocabulary flash cards and prepare the adapted text to go with the topic ready for the child to learn and use with peers.

Creating shadows

  • Create a dark corner of the classroom with black fabric and a staple gun.
  • Shine a bright torch through transparent materials and objects to discover the opaque ones don’t let light through.
  • Use of a projector shining on white cloth or card and create a shadow with a puppet, or a clearly defined object.
  • The child may be able to see where the shadow falls, even if they are not able to make out its shape.
  • Project light onto a large sheet of card and draw around the shadow. Cut out the shadow for the child to feel around.
  • Move the light source or object closer and further away and each time cut out the shadow shapes for the child to compare the sizes and shapes.
  • To investigate how shadows of objects in sunlight change over the course of the day, lengths of string can be used to measure and to record how long the shadow is.
  • Black sugar paper shadows drawn of the child throughout the day, model how much taller they are at the beginning and end of each day and how much shorter they are in the middle of the day.
  • A tactile globe can be used to investigate and explain whether it is the sun or the earth that moves during the day to create the shadows.

scienceweek

Exploring vibrations

  • Use rice, peas and beads on a drum. The size of the drum and strength of the hit will create different movements
  • Child can hold hand just above the drum to feel the sensation of the rice or peas hitting their hand

Sound travelling through solid.

  • Rest an ear on a table or wall to hear and feel vibrations travel through a solid
  • Use different sizes of table, made with various materials and bang on them with various objects
  • Rest an ear on the wall to help understanding of spatial awareness, the child may not have realised that there is another room on the other side of the wall.

Sound travelling through air.

  • Use a bell, whistle or maraca in an open space at various distances from the child. This reinforces understanding of distance as well as sound travel

Pitch experiments

  • Use tuning forks
  • Twang a ruler on the edge of the desk
  • Pluck strings, change pitch of drums. Allow child to carry out the experiment as well as experience the vibrations
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