On the Way to Literacy: Book Set I: Early Experiences for Visually Impaired Children
These fun, read-aloud books from APH help young children develop the abilities that form the foundation for literacy.
This set is part of the On the Way to Literacy: Early Experiences for Visually Impaired Children series, other titles are sold separately.
The handbook and storybooks contain vital information and activities to enhance the development of literacy in young blind and visually impaired children.
Book Set I includes On the Way to Literacy Handbook, 2nd Edition and one each of the following titles:
- Something Special
- Jennifer’s Messes
- Gobs of Gum
- Roly-Poly Man
- The Longest Noodle
- That Terrible, Awful Day
- The Caterpillar
- Bumpy Rolls Away
- Silly Squiggles
- Book About Me
Handbook (included in this set) for parents and teachers addresses communication, hand skills/tactual exploration, concepts, and book experiences. Recommended ages: birth to 5 years.
Storybooks introduce large print, tactile illustrations, and braille. Illustrations provide opportunities to use finger and hand skills. Recommended ages: 2 1/2 to 5 years, except The Gumdrop Tree, which is not for children under 5 years without adult supervision.
How On the Way Is Sold
The handbook and storybooks can be purchased separately or as sets. The books in the sets are grouped together for your ordering convenience, and are not sequential in terms of level of difficulty.
- Age Range:
- 2.5 to 5
Silly Squiggles (Open) Bumpy Rolls Away (Child's Lap)
Thingamajig And Gobs Of Gum Open
The Longest Noodle
Bumpy Rolls Away
That Terrible Awful Day
Book About Me
That's Not MY Bear
The Blue Balloon
The Gumdrop Tree
On the Way to Literacy: Books that I like to Touch and that Touch Me!
Article excerpt from the field, by Kristie Smith, M.Ed, CTVI
Originally published in the Fred's Head From APH Blog
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has an audacious collection of books called On the Way to Literacy. On the Way is a brilliant ensemble of books for young children that include: Giggly-Wiggly Snickety-Snick, Jellybean Jungle, Thingamajig, The Gumdrop Tree, Something Special, That's Not My Bear, and Geraldine's Blanket and many other entertaining titles.
The storybooks are equipped with large print, braille, and beautiful high contrast pictures that greatly enhance the development of literacy and comprehension in young children who have a visual impairment.
As a teacher for over twenty-eight years, I have witnessed many children who were missing out on comprehension, vocabulary, and story background simply because they could not see the visual hints that assist young children in understanding a story's meaning.
I will never forget sitting with my adorable kindergarten student while the teacher was reading a story about colors.
“What is a color?” my student Yasmine, asked me. “Do you eat it, play with it or what?”
While the other children were looking at pictures of the colors, Yasmine was left wondering what the book was talking about.
Yasmine taught me that colors can and should be taught along with other experiences in life. A child without vision needs to be taught colors and other skills discovered through books and real experiences, so that they may participate in life with a strong understanding of their world and the people in it.
I began by asking the kindergarten teacher that school year for a list of books that she would be reading to her class, I then created story boxes for my student. My story boxes contain toys or objects that help children relate to a particular story.
The next time the color book was read, Yasmine smelled scented markers and tasted foods that represented the colors, she loved it. Colors were making sense to her now.
The On the Way to Literacy books from APH help to build meaning. When Geraldine loses her blanket in the story Geraldine's Blanket, children can feel the blanket and through touch observe its texture changing after many days of being loved by Geraldine.
When I introduced Roly-Poly Man to Yasmine, she was thrilled. She listened as the child in the story created a 'roly-poly' Play-doh® figure. Yasmine was even more thrilled when she and I created our own Roly-Poly Man from peanut butter Play-doh. (You simply mix peanut butter with a white cake mix and make the consistency the same as bread dough).
The Gumdrop Tree comes with scented stickers and drawings that show the tree's growth. I was able to teach shapes, colors, and sizes from this high interest book. Some other ideas that will enhance the story is to have the student feel the growth of a bean that has been planted in a wet paper towel, chew pieces of gum while discussing colors and related flavors, take the already chewed gum and create a gum tree on a sheet of Manila paper. The student will absorb more information from the story when they are actively participating in the details from the book.
Jennifer's Messes is a wonderful story that has thermoforms of familiar objects such as cereal, pretzels, and crayons that Jennifer keeps spilling. Another great skill for enhancement would be for children to compare real cereal to the tactile cereal in the book. It is important for students who have a visual impairment to understand that the plastic tactile objects are representations for the real objects.
Giggly-Wiggly Snickety-Snick comes with real objects and textures. In my opinion, this cute story demonstrates how real objects teach comprehension, vocabulary, and that written words have true meaning.
Another favorite book offered from APH is Jellybean Jungle. Jellybean Jungle is a charming book that teaches counting from one-to-ten, rhyming words and color concepts. Another student, that I had a few years ago learned many of his colors from jellybeans, fruit, and Skittles® and adored Jellybean Jungle.
Before a parent, educator or anyone else reads a book to a child with a visual impairment it is crucial for them to hand the little one real objects from the story. The child will feel, smell, touch, and taste the story and so it becomes real. I use all of the senses when teaching my students about a story, so that the background is already built. I can then do hand-over-hand tracking of the story with my student who will begin to make the connection that letters create words, words make sentences, sentences make a paragraph and a paragraph develops a well-told story.
Children who understand their world through experiences either personally or by reading will be successful and great contributors to society. Nothing explains the outcome of good readers more than Dr. Seuss. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go.” - Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! Because of great reading materials from APH, our students who have a visual impairment are doing just that.
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