GLOBE Observer - Touching the Clouds Activity Guide
For many of us within the GLOBE community, this is a joyful season with many celebrations around us. I was lucky to have the opportunity to share about holiday traditions with members from the GLOBE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group a few days ago. Not only was it interesting to learn about how my colleagues celebrate different holidays, but it was also exciting to find about common traditions among physically distant countries!
Reflecting on diverse celebrations around this time, prompted me to share about a special day that is taking place in less than a month: World Braille Day is celebrated on January 4; therefore, now it’s the perfect time to do some research about where and how we may be to join this observance.
Braille is a code that uses raised dots to represent letters, numbers, and musical notes, math and scientific symbols in a tactile form; it was invented by Louis Braille, in France, in the 19th century, and it is used by people who are blind or visually impaired (United Nations, n.d.).
My son and I have had a chance to participate in several workshops at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, in New York City, for a few years. For Braille Day in 2019, they had a Braille Trivia along with tactile drawing activities we really enjoyed. So, I encourage you to check if any library near you may be having a special event to celebrate Braille Day this coming January!
Another idea to celebrate Braille Day would be to try a GLOBE tactile activity: The GLOBE Observer's Touching the Clouds Activity Guide may be an engaging way for students to practice identifying different kinds of clouds. Through this activity, students use simple materials such as cotton balls and small pieces of fabric to create their GLOBE tactile cloud identification chart. I had the privilege to try this activity with students at The New York Institute for Special Education and it was a lot of fun! With the GLOBE Clouds Challenge 2022 also coming up, what better way to get ready to identify clouds, while also learning about Braille? Tactile activities may help many students, whether they are visually impaired or sighted. Having multiple ways to access knowledge can help us all.
I wish everyone a very happy and healthy season and also an awesome World Braille Day!
United Nations. (n.d.). World Braille Day 4 January. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/en/observances/braille-day