Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille
Written by Jen Bryant, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Louis Braille was just five years old when he lost his sight. He was a clever boy, determined to live like everyone else, and what he wanted more than anything was to be able to read. Even at the school for the blind in Paris, there were no books for him. And so he invented his own alphabet–a whole new system for writing that could be read by touch. A system so ingenious that it is still used by the blind community today.
Primary Source Pairing:
It is hard to imagine the perseverance Louis Braille embodied over 200 years ago. His creation of an alphabet of raised letters created the opportunity for people who were blind to read, write, communicate, and create for generations to come. For this primary source pairing, invite students to investigate the Braille alphabet. Use the image above as a starting place.
For a more hands-on primary source analysis experience, Braille Alphabet Cards are available for purchase from the National Braille Press. Request one free card or purchase a set of 35 for $8.50. Delivery takes 2-3 weeks, so plan ahead.
The National Braille Press has published this book in Braille. Plastic overlay pages with the text in Braille are added to the print book’s pages to create a reading experience for readers with or without sight. This version is sure to be a hit in your school library collection. The Bookstore at National Braille Press has several titles in this format that can be enjoyed by all readers.
Questions to Guide Exploration of Braille Text / Alphabet Card:
- What do you notice first when you look at the Braille text?
- What do you feel first when you touch the Braille text?
- How can you describe what you see?
- How can you describe what you feel?
- How would reading Braille be different than reading the printed text? How would it be the same?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Braille Alphabet Card: National Braille Press
Six Dots in Braille available from the National Braille Press: http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/SIXDOTS.html
Who Was Louis Braille? Primary Source Pairing