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Braille

Letter F in braille

Did you know that you can read using your sense of touch? Use Lego bricks to send a message to your friend using the Braille alphabet.

What you need

  • A friend
  • Two flat Lego baseplates
  • 12 2x3 Lego bricks
  • 25 1x1 Lego bricks
  • Braille alphabet card
  • Paper
  • Pencil

Make it

  1. Think of a four- to six-letter word, and don’t say it out loud.
  2. Write your word down on the piece of paper.
  3. Place one 2x3 Lego brick on the baseplate for each letter in your word, leaving a small space between each one.
  4. Take your 1x1 bricks, and using the Braille alphabet below, place the 1x1 bricks on top of your 2x3 bricks where the dark circles are to form a letter. Do this for all of your letters.

Braille alphabet diagram

Test it

Swap your board with your friend’s board, then try to read their word using the Braille alphabet. Write down the letters one by one if that’s easier.

Explain it

Braille is a system of raised dots which helps people who are visually impaired read using their sense of touch. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a six-dot pattern, called a cell, with three dots in each column that can either be raised or not raised. People read by feeling the number and location of the bumps under their fingers.

Observe it

Braille can be found in many public spaces. Can you find examples of it? Look at elevators, ATMs, and signs for public washrooms.

Go further

There are actually several types of Braille. Alphabetic is the one we used earlier, but there are lots of other types as well. For example, in literary Braille, many words are represented by a single cell. This is especially useful for writing books, as it takes up less space. Try this activity again using a literary Braille chart online!

Program Details

SCITECH
Canada Science and Technology Museum
Duration
10 minutes
Difficulty Level:
Easy
Program Location
Online