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1. Happy Birthday, Louis!

Have a celebration in honor of the inventor of braille on January 4. Decorate cookies, cupcakes, or a cake with braille letters made of M&Ms, gum drops, red-hots, chocolate chips, or other candy. Decorate with a braille banner or posters, and balloons arranged to form braille letters. And, of course, play braille games!

2. Follow the Trail of Braille

Write a simple message in braille, and cut between the words. Mount each word on a sheet of colored paper and post them randomly throughout the room, or around the school (e.g., above the water fountain, on the office door, etc.). The first student to figure out the message wins. You can do one each week, gradually increasing the complexity and length of the message.

3. Play Braille-O Lotto

Duplicate a lotto sheet containing 5 rows of 5 squares for each student. Players print the letters of the alphabet in random order in the empty squares. Round pieces of cereal can be used for markers (or other game pieces can be used). The game can be played with varying levels of difficulty:

  • The teacher writes a braille letter on the chalkboard. Children consult the braille alphabet key, and place a marker on the correct print letter on their lotto page. First child to have five in a row (down, across, or diagonally) calls, "Braille-O" and becomes the next game leader to write braille letters on the board.

  • The teacher calls out the dot numbers that constitute a braille letter. Children scan the braille alphabet key, identify the letter, and place a marker on their corresponding print letter. Play continues until a winner calls, "Braille-O."

  • For variety, play Braille Bingo. Students print numbers in random order: 1-15 under the B, 16-30 under I, 31-45 under N, 46-60 under G, and 61-75 under O. The caller writes a braille number on the board (don't forget the number sign!) and players locate the corresponding print number.

4. Poster Contest

Conduct a classroom—or schoolwide—poster contest with the theme of braille and what it means to those who use it. Award prizes for the most creative poster in each designated age group. Display posters on bulletin boards around the school.

5. "I Spy" Contest

Contestants can be individuals, teams, or classrooms. The object is to find as many uses of braille in the community as possible. For younger children, the contest can begin on Monday and end on Friday; for older students, the contest can run for a month. Students receive an "I Spy Braille" scorecard with entry spaces for date, where the braille was found and what it communicated (e.g., elevator floors, ATMs at specific banks, soft drink cup lids, etc.), and a space for an adult signature. Points can be earned for the greatest number of places braille was found, as well as for unique entries.

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