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3 Bumps

Planning a Presentation for Kindergartners

My daughter's teacher has asked me to speak to the kindergarten classes for half an hour tomorrow morning. They're lerning about their senses, and she wanted me to bring my guide dog, maybe some braille, and talk to the kids about how if you don't have one sense, you learn to use the others in its place. Fair enough, but I don't think Ballad and a book wih braille in it will fill up thirty minutes. So I'm wondering, what else might five- and six-year-olds be interested in knowing? Any ideas? Any of you who have kids that age, what might they be curious about? My daughter doesn't think twice about any of it,so I can't really draw on her questions--she tells all of her friends the only thing different about having a blind mom is that Dad won't share his car.

 
Ballad

Asked by Ballad at 12:26 PM on Sep. 18, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
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Answers (12)
  • I hope this isn't a rude question, but how long have you been blind? You might talk about how you learn to do things or your perception of what things look like, or you might talk about how you adjust to losing one of your senses. You can talk about each sense, what it does to enhance our lives, and how we might cope with the loss of that sense.

    Good luck Ballad, and have fun. The kids will probably have plenty of questions to stretch your talk!!
    ohwrite

    Answer by ohwrite at 12:32 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Could you go to the dollar store and get blindfolds for everyone, I would do it before you show them the braille, you could pass out braille sheets and ask them to imagine being able to read this way, ask them to feel the difference between the bumps. Kids love interaction, be sure to include the story of how your dog was trained, how long it took, why they should never just go up and pet a animal who is on "duty"
    I can't wait to hear how it turns out, you could also put a few things in a cup, and ask them to smell it while they are blindfolded, like chocolate, oranges etc, they will have a ball trying to guess what it is.
    2kids2dogs2cats

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 12:44 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • You have a braille writer, don't you. For some reason I remember you saying you did. You might make a card with each of their first names.
    It would be a nice memento. If it is portable you could even show how it is used.
    Some one is bound to ask if you work. If they don't I would bring that up. Explain what you do. It will confuse the heck out of them if you tell them you proofread manuscripts, even if you explain what proofreading is. How the heck do you do that? IMO it is always a good thing , when a person shows that they can be a productive citizen and have a job no matter what their circumstances.
    Question and answer is always enlightening. Kids are generally not shy about asking questions if they are given the go ahead. This will also give you ideas to work from if you decide to do it again.
    I had a friend who was legally blind and watching her pour a hot drink always amazed me.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:17 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • You'd be surprised. They'll still have a lot of questions & they'll want to take turns petting the dog. Maybe have them take turns being blind folded & escorted by the dog across the room. Describe what it's like to get yourself ready- like brushing your hair when you can't look in the mirror. Cooking a meal when you can't see the measuring cup or the ingredients you're working with. Things that we take for granted that they may not have even considered.
    mrsmom110

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 12:36 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • I would leave some of the time open for them to just ask questions. They will come up with questions. Questions I can think of, as an adult, would be maybe how do you grocery shop? (This next one isn't really applicable with computer technology now, but I wonder anyway) Most people have address books that they keep phone numbers in for when they need to call a friend - what do you do? Do you have a braille version, or do you simply have to memorize every phone number of everyone you want to call - or wait for someone to get home? How you cook, clean, deal with mail. My 9 yr old just asked do you "watch" TV? And wants to know, if you do, do you "get" shows that rely on physical humor rather than verbal?
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 12:52 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Have them close their eyes and say what each coin is by feel. Then have them do bills...show them the difference in difficulty. Or have them describe with words their favorite color. That might show them how hard it is for other senses to pick up the slack of having one sense out of commission.... But no worries... Just having the dog there makes you a big hit. Just be prepared for some non tactful questions!!!! You know kids. They could ask anything!!!! One of my sons once asked a blind friends if his eyes hurt. And, if he could see inside his head since he couldn't see outside of it.... Lol
    Nimue930

    Answer by Nimue930 at 1:15 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Take them thru a typical day. How you make breakfast, get dressed (they'll want to know how you know what colors you pick out), clean up, etc.
    PartyGalAnne

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 1:46 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Were you born blind? How did it happen? What does your dog do? How does your dog do all it does? How do your other sense compensate? How do get dressed if you can't see your clothes? How can you cook if you can't see? How do you do ANYTHING if you can't see?

    These are just questions I could come up with off the top of my head. Some of them I already know the answers to, some *I* would be curious about. I'll ask my kids when they get home.....in about 5 hours.
    Rosehawk

    Answer by Rosehawk at 1:50 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Maybe have small groups of kids and have a blindfold for every group. You can bring a few things that have a subtle smell or have someone whisper something across the room that they might not have normally heard and have them take turns saying what they heard or smelled. Or what direction the noise / whispering came from. I can't imagine it would be hard for kids to get into that and it would easily eat up half an hour.
    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 2:15 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • They will ask a lot of questions, and they are kindergarteners so many questions might be
    Why is the dogs collar blue and not pink
    Or can I pet your dog
    Why did you name him spot
    Expect many questions about your dog
    Might prepare by playing vet with your daughter
    I joke, but I did presentations about certain artwork for that age...would not believe the off topic questions I got
    One girl asked, do you know my name, I said no, she told me, next kid asked same thing,and another etc
    I prepared for the next one, I memorized all their little evil faces and names...HA

    Do you have a Braille maker. Like can kids imprint their names in Braille on some paper?
    That is all I have for a serious answer

    Let us know how it goes
    Bet you have a blast
    fiatpax

    Answer by fiatpax at 3:13 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

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