Snow Globe Shake-Up: Tech Skills (cut and paste)

Snow globe shake up! Just like the snow globe in the story, the Snow Globe Family, your story has been through a snowstorm - and the story plot has been blown out of order! Your job is to unscramble the sentences and put them back in the correct order.

First, read the Snow Globe Family book by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by J.D. Schindler.

  • For younger students, read the book aloud in class.
  • For older students, have the students individually read the book.

Tech FYI: Here is a link to a YouTube read aloud with students reading the story.

Shake-Up Activity

Sequencing given events is an important language arts skill. Teachers will often provide 5 written sentences, cut apart, and ask the students to put them in chronological order. In this digital version of the activity, the students will highlight, copy and paste the given sentences into the correct order.

Here are the scrambled sentences for the Snow Globe Shake-Up activity:

  • The baby was the only one to notice the snow globe.
  • The snow globe family went sledding too!
  • One night it snowed, and the big family went sledding.
  • The big family lived in a house on a hill.
  • They all went to sleep dreaming about the snow.

Attached is the Snow Globe Shake-Up Word document.

Share the Snow Globe Shake-Up document with your student, in the digital format that he/she is familiar with (e.g. Word, Google Docs, Pages). Students can complete this activity on their personal device. This post will specific list the commands for an iPad with VoiceOver; however, the activity can be completed on a Chromebook, PC, Mac, or braille notetaker. This is a great opportunity to transfer skills from gestures to braille display and/or Bluetooth keyboard commands! 


Older students: Create more challenging sentences for older students. You can choose to add more sentences. The sentences can be in paragraph form, requiring students to navigate by words as well as be lines!

Content: Is the class reading a different book? You can do this sequencing tech skill activity with any book - simply substitute the five sentences with the desired books' plot!

Reading Commands

Encourage students to first read all of the sentences. 

VoiceOver Gestures

  • Read All (starting from the top of the screen): 2-finger swipe up
  • Read All from current position: 2-finger swipe down
  • Pause or resume reading from current position: 2-finger tap

Braille Display

  • Read All (starting from the top of the screen): 2+4+5+6+space
  • Read All from current position: R Chord
  • Pause or resume reading from current position: P Chord

Bluetooth Keyboard

Students will use their tech skills to navigate to the desired sentence: 

  • Read All (starting from the top of the screen): VO+B
  • Read All from current position: Control
  • Pause or resume reading from current position: VO+A

Navigating Commands

It is significantly easier to navigate, copy and paste using a Bluetooth keyboard. Gestures and even the braille display require using the rotor to navigate by words or lines, then using the rotor again to select text, use the rotor again to copy/cut, then using the rotor again to navigate to the new location, and finally using the rotor again to paste. While it is possible, it is a clunky and time-consuming process. The Bluetooth keyboard has specific keyboard commands to navigate, select text, copy and paste. These keyboard commands mirror computer screen readers, so once the student learns the skill, it is a simple process to transfer the skill to JAWS, NVDA or VoiceOver on a computer.

Steps to Copy and Paste with Bluetooth Keyboard

With the Snow Globe Family Shake-up document open and the cursor is in the document, make sure that Quick Nav is on by pressing the right and left arrows simultaneously. (Quick Nav on enables the user to navigate around the document; you will hear two descending tones. Quick Nav off enables the user to edit the document; you will hear two ascending tones.) 

When Quick Nav is on:

  • Navigate by lines through the document: Down Arrow (Up arrow to go to previous line). Stop on the desired line.
  • The cursor should be at the beginning of the line. If it is not, use cmd + Left arrow.
  • To select the current line, shift + down arrow
  • To cut the current line, Command + x
  • Navigate to the beginning of the desired line where you want to insert the copied sentence: down arrow or up arrow to desired line
  • Move the existing sentence to the next line: Return key
  • Navigate to the blank line: Up arrow (VoiceOver will announce the blank line as "new line")
  • Paste the desired line: cmd + V

Repeat the process until all the lines are in the desired location. 

Bluetooth Keyboard Commands

Image of  Bluetooth Keyboard Navigating Commands (See Attached Bluetooth Keyboard Commands document for the full, accessible list of Bluetooth Commands)

Graphic of Bluetooth Navigating Commands

Image of Bluetooth Manipulating Text commands

Graphic of Bluetooth Keyboard Manipulating Text Commands

Note: Ideally, students should be familiar with navigating and copying/cutting and pasting from previous, simple editing activities. Navigating, selecting, cutting and pasting while trying to sequence is more challenging and is not intended to be an introduction activity! 

  • Navigating is typically introduced when learning to edit simple documents.
  • Copy/Cut and paste is often introduced when copying/cutting and pasting the entire document.
  • Selecting text to cut/copy and paste is often done with easier activities

Resources for Basic navigating, selecting, copy/cut and paste activities:

In case you are interested, here are the Braille Display Commands. Remember, the braille display requires going to the rotor to navigate by lines or words, once the cursor is at the desired location, use the rotor option Text Selection to determine how much is selected, and then rotor option Edit then swipe through options to copy, cut or paste. Repeat the process to move to the desired location and paste.

For detailed information on editing on an iPad with VoiceOver, be sure to look at the iOS manuals on Paths to Technology under the Curriculum page (gestures, braille display and Bluetooth keyboard manuals) and the ABC's of iOS manual geared for teaching VoiceOver to 3-8 year olds.

Additional video tutorials with playlists for VoiceOver Accessibility (gestures), Bluetooth keyboard with VoiceOver on the iPad, and Using a Refreshable Braille Display with an iPad on the Diane Brauner YouTube channel. Many of the videos correspond with the iOS VoiceOver manuals.