The "Itsy Bitsy Spider" adapted book was created by Marguerite Bilm for her preschool students. In this video, Marguerite shares information about the adaptations she has used to make the book and demonstrates how the design is meant to develop skills related to visual attention and visual tracking.
BILMS: Hi, my name is Marguerite Bilms and I'm a teacher at Perkins School for the Blind in the Deafblind program. I currently teach preschool age students and I'm here to talk to you about my adapted version of the Itsy Bitsy Spider — A Sing-Song Book.
This book was created for a student with cortical vision impairment who is very motivated by songs and music. She's working on increasing her eye gaze, as well as tactile discrimination. This book is pre-literacy, as it works left to right, top to bottom for those early reading skills.
It incorporates tactile discrimination as it has tactile components. We work on eye gaze with the bright objects, or the bright pictures with low complexity and high contrast. We work on auditory cueing, as well as targeting vision and auditory skills simultaneously, or tactile and auditory skills.
For students with CVI, it's very difficult for them to use more than one sense at a time. It's important to provide the student with minimal sensory overload so that they do not have visual fatigue throughout the lesson. This book was created for toddlers and/or preschool age students, and it's very age-appropriate as it's the Itsy Bitsy Spider.
You could make this book more conducive for elementary students, but please be aware of the content, as the Itsy Bitsy Spider may not be appropriate for a 13 year old.
So we go through the book and we work on the Itsy Bitsy Spider who is going up the water spout. Each page is very simple in detail; we have a bright orange spider and a very white pipe with minimal detail as to provide low complexity for the cortical vision impairment processing.
So when we talk about the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout, we trail up.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Notice that the spider is on the bottom of the page as opposed to the top, which helps the child look in different fields of vision.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain and the Itsy Bitsy Spider is happy again. On this page we see there is gold mylar, and that's to target attention for the child, and then he goes back up the water spout.
Depending on where I want the student to look, I can use my little flashlight in order to enhance the location on the page of the book that I'd like the child to look. So for example, when the sun comes out, maybe sometimes I want her to look at the sun.
So I shine on the sun.
Other days I want her just to look at the spider.
And some days I want her to track from the sun down to the spider, and that can help increase the complexity of seeing more than one color on a page at a time.
The same can also go for any other page, especially when going up the water spout. Going up, up, up, and look! There's the spider; being able to use those different senses in one fun, motivating book.
In order to create this book I've taken just regular construction paper and cut out basic shapes, glued them onto black construction paper, and laminated them. I then used hot glue to add on tactile components, which are made out of pipe cleaners and kitchen straws, as well as googly eyes from any craft store.
Hot glue as the rain; it's not ideal for cortical vision impairment visual recognition, but it is good for a tactile component. I've used golden mylar, which was an old gift bag, for the sun.
And then again, just the pipe cleaners and the straw.
One thing I'd like to note is that the book is laminated which is great for preservation, but it's also bad because of the glare, so you have to be aware of the environmental factors when conducting a lesson with your students so that they are looking at the intended target.
And that's today's teachable moment with the Itsy Bitsy Spider.