Spring is just around the corner! Daffodils are blooming, grass is turning green, leaves are budding, and birds are building nests. Activities for younger students are focusing on spring, bunnies and eggs! Here are some fun educational "egg" activities with downloadable images intended to be used with a tactile graphics machine (PIAF or Swell machine).
Remember, students should explore a real egg (if possible) or a 3D egg before exploring the tactile graphic of an egg. Students will use tactile graphics to build simple concepts. Example: The shape of an egg (oval) or the term "cracked" egg. Include tactile graphic goals, such as teaching your student how to systematically search for the eggs on the page and how to quickly explore and identify the design on the egg.
The image below has a real egg, a pink plastic Easter egg, a green plastic Easter egg that is "cracked" open, and a PIAF-ready print page with 2 outlined eggs in the first row and 2 outlined "cracked" eggs in the second row. Think of all the concepts you can teach with this!
Use egg tactile graphics to practice the student's educational goals including:
- Size (small, medium, large)
- Location of the egg on the page (left, right, top, bottom, center, and corners)
- Identifying different designs
- Concepts/Terms (e.g. cracked egg)
- Completing simple worksheets independently
- Tactile graphic skills
- Pre-Requisite skills for reading braille
- Pre-requisites for technology skills
Wait! Technology skills? How does a tactile graphic egg activity lead to technology skills? In the AT Scope and Sequence Chart, there are goals related to tactile graphics paired with digital images. Tactile graphics are used to reinforce concepts. Example: Before a student can navigate and use a digital grid, the student must first be exposed to and understand a tactile grid. For many students, pairing a tactile image with the digital image on the screen is also critical when learning the spatial layout of the screen. Example: When a student is learning how to create a PowerPoint Presentation, having a tactile representation of the screen will help the student understand what is on the screen and where those items are located. Strong tactile graphics skills (search patterns, identifying images, understanding images, understanding spatial relationships, building mental maps) are the first steps to transitioning to digital resources.
These decorative tactile eggs provide great opportunities for students to learn how to systematically explore and find the tactile image, and how to follow tactile lines. Example: Tracing the lines of the Chevron egg with its zig-zag lines or the multiple wavy lines in the second egg below. These skills are so beneficial for emerging braille readers!
Download the PIAF-ready 2 Eggs Lines here.
Creating Egg Images for a Tactile Graphics Machine
Modifying Designs on Eggs
There have been multiple posts on how to quickly create a customized image or how to modify an existing worksheet with tactile graphics using the Good Notes app. (See Creating Digital Images for Tactile Graphic Machines, Part 1)
With egg images, there is another simple solution. Do an Internet search for "Easter Egg Coloring Image". (I also include "free" images, so that copyright is not an issue!) Hundreds of outlined Easter egg images are available. Simply select a design, download it to your desktop, save and print it. Using a black felt tip pen or ink pen, color in the desired areas. Example: In the image below, I colored in parts of three eggs: part of the chevron, the small circles and the flower petals. Having these solid areas makes it easier for the student to identify the design by differentating between areas that are raised vs. not raised. I recommend making a copy of the colored page (as the copy will have the same black ink for the egg outline and the design), before printing the page the on capsule paper for the PIAF or Swell machine.
Initial page printed from the Internet:
Download the Egg Pattern1 here.
Image of the same four eggs with parts colored:
Download the Egg Pattern2 here.
Creating Positional Egg Worksheets
To create positional egg worksheets, do an Internet search for "Easter Egg Coloring Image". (I also include "free" images, so that copyright is not an issue!) Choose a desired egg. I chose an outline egg (no decorations) but any egg will work. I downloaded and saved the egg on my desktop. Next, create a blank Word document. Copy and paste the egg in the desired area of the Word document. If desired, add 1 or more eggs in specific locations to the document. Eggs can be re-sized as desired. I used Portrait layout for up/down locations and Landscape layout for left/right positions.
(See Positional Activities below for downloads.)
Color or decorate the single large egg.
- Download the Egg Large here.
- Positions: Teach positional terms (top, bottom, left, right). Ask the student to color the egg on the left. Underline the egg on the right. Circle the egg on top. Cross out the egg on the bottom. Students will learn to identify the positional concepts and will learn important skills such as how to underline or circle. Students should use a crayon so that they can feel what they marked. The ability to underline, cross out, and circle are common ways that all students mark worksheet items.
Counting: Count the eggs on the page or count the number of dots inside the egg.
- Download the Egg Spots here. (large egg)
- Matching and Same/Different: Any egg images can be used for matching. I chose to introduce my student to small decorated eggs first on a single worksheet page. Then, cut out each egg and ask the student to make pairs. Another activity is to make a worksheet with two columns of decorated eggs (with eggs in random order) and ask the student to draw a line between the matching eggs. Want to build those marking skills? Ask the student to draw a line under each egg in one 1 set of paired eggs, circle another set of paired eggs, and cross out the third set.
- Download Egg Matching here. (small eggs)
Identify Patterns: All of the egg examples can be used to teach tactile graphics skills such as systematic search patterns, identifying patterns, etc.) Here is another set of medium patterned eggs.
- Download Egg Pattern3 here. (medium eggs)
- Size: Egg images in this post have been created in three sizes: small, medium and large. Each downloadable worksheet has the size of the eggs listed beside the download.
There are so many concepts that can be taught with tactile eggs. Be creative! Use these tactile eggs (or create your own eggs) to reinforce skills that your student is currently working on.