How do locks work?
There was an old cabin located on the campus of this elementary school in Rome. What a cool thing to explore for a student with little to no vision. Imagine reading stories about cabins in the woods, but never really “seeing” one with your own “eyes” or in this case “hands?” The cabin was lifted off the ground and set on blocks. That led to a discussion of why houses are built up off the ground. We walked around the building and noted it was a square with the front door located on the south side of the building. We decided that the family enjoyed feeling the warm winter sun from the south while on the porch. The wood was worn and rough. We felt the various grains in the different pieces, some running horizontally and others vertically. Some parts of the cabin had nails holding the pieces together and others did not. What sort of mystery tool, was holding the building together we wondered. Once up on the porch (the steps were more than a tad rickety – another good new word), my student found the door. At first the various pieces of metal made no sense to him. We took time to talk about locks, how they work and what the various pieces of the locking system were. We explored the smooth cool metal and the rough, flakey parts that were rusted. Leading to another question about what makes things rust. Finally we found the lock. My student correctly determined it was a key lock and wondered who has the key? Why is it locked and can’t we go in and see more? Unfortunately we were not able to do so. However, after this lesson, my student had a much better understanding of so many concepts that before he had only “heard” about. Now, when he reads about a cabin in the woods, he will have a real-life example to remember and refer back to, while reading the story. Another one of life’s mysteries has been successfully “unlocked!”