Select students in Julia Boots’ second grade classroom at Fairley Elementary School closed their eyes and were asked by a guest presenter to take a look around.
“I see black,” one student said.
“I can’t see anything,” another said.
The students, all a part of a high-level reading group in Boots’ class, then wondered what it was like to live life in darkness.
The students already read a book together on both the struggles and accomplishments of Helen Keller.
To help them relate their reading material to a real-life situation, Boots invited friend Jean Fultz in to share about her young granddaughter’s life as a child who is blind.
Students were fascinated with the cane, which Fultz told them acted as a set of eyes when her granddaughter walks.
She also showed the group various materials the child uses to help her adapt with everyday tasks.
A clock with raised numbers helped her learn to recognize numbers 0 through 9, and books with both Braille and tactile pictures helped her to learn how to read.
Talking watches and clocks, along with measuring cups with Braille on them have also helped the child enjoy some of the same items as her peers.
Boots said the recent visit helped her students apply knowledge learned in their reading group to ask questions and share thoughts about blindness.
Creating awareness of it and showing people can overcome adversity was a bonus, she said.