What Is That?

It was a chilly day for an Orientation & Mobility lesson and my students were not very happy about being outside. The wind was blowing, there was a chill in the air and as usual, they had been given a challenge to complete. Mobility lessons are a lot more fun when you can integrate the practice of cane skills into games and “missions to complete!” This week the boys had been given a letter, addressed to their teacher, who had just had a baby. They were to try to figure out how to get the letter to her. We talked about the envelop, the address, stamp and how it had been prepared for mailing. The question was… how do you mail a letter. They had decided to travel to the front office, deducing correctly… that the front office ladies know everything. She grinned at their questions and quite appropriately challenged them to go out the back door (the secret pasaage through the office!) and go find the mailbox. Now, neither of these two kids had ever “seen” a mailbox. They had heard about them, but really had no idea what they were looking for. Out the door and along the sidewalk they tapped with their canes until they got to the curb. As a helpful instructor, I explained that the Mail Carrier arrived in a small truck, pulled up the curb and took the mail out of the mailbox. They used a nice clearing technique and searched left and then right. Their canes hit a post and went thunk. Hands shot out and began to look for the “box.” It was great to listen to them brainstorm about where the box might be and how it was made. They talked about the height, what it was made of and how it was attached to the post. But, they couldn’t quite figure out how it worked! Finally, one of them found the slot in the front. When asked what it was he said, “its the door to the upsidedown!” No, not quite.. but it was the letter slot. They took time to ask questions to understand where the letter went once it was pushed into the slot, and how the mail carrier would open the box and get the mail. We learned a lot about mail and mailboxes that day! This photo shows the two boys working together to get the letter correctly placed into the slot and mailed off to their teacher!

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