English and Technology
Project: MP3 Aids for Children who are Blind
(using two mobile phones for the recording)
Consider how you might interact with the world should you lose your sight.
  • How would you find your way?
  • Would you lose your independence?
  • Would you cope and survive?
In this simple two-pronged project, pupils will form groups and create a sound file (MP3, wav and wma file) of a children’s story, either - by selecting an appropriate book from the library or by writing a collaborative story - then reading and recording it using two cell phones. They will then design and manufacture a textural picture on an A4 piece of cardboard which illustrates some aspect of, or character/s from the story.
Where possible, pupils should be exposed to and observe children who have difficulties with sight. They should also investigate children’s stories particularly appropriate for younger children. Using the internet (and where possible, interviews), they should conduct research and establish how children’s books and stories for sighted children can be adapted slightly in the telling in order to facilitate learning for those who have little or no sight.
  1. Decide on the age of the children for which you will write and / or read and record: either 4/5, 6/7, or 8/9 years-old (older groups could be targeted after discussion with your teacher)
  2. Consider appropriate language, words, characters and storylines for the age of your targeted children if you are writing yourselves
  3. Should you choose an existing book, remember to consider the visual impact of the book on the story. Many stories for younger children are as much as 70% visual and the illustrations add greatly to the storyline. You will probably have to adjust the text of your chosen book by adding in snippets of information from the pictures into the story you eventually read and record. This will aid comprehension and offer blind children a fuller experience of the story and book

  • Materials required for writing if writing your own collaborative story:

  • Writing materials for a collaborative story which will allow for mind-mapping and creating the collaborative story

  • Book selection if reading an existing story:
  • A children’s book selected per instructions above (under #1, PLANNING)

  • Tools required for reading and recording:
  • Select a short piece of music for the beginning and end of your story
  • Two cell phones – one for recording and the other for introducing a short spell of background music at the beginning and end of the sound file.

  • If writing your own collaborative story:

  1. Within your group, decide on the type of story you will create – will it be a really funny story about your family, a cultural tale from your community or an animal story and so on?

  2. A good story requires an appealing beginning, an interesting body (of particular importance is some form of credible conflict) and an ending that resolves the conflict, even if only partially

  3. Remember that good writing is based on strong verbs, not laundry lists of adjectives!

  4. All members of the group need input during the writing process – everyone’s voice needs to be heard for a truly collaborative experience

Preparing for recording:
  1. Decide whether one or more in your group will read the story
  2. If only one reads, that person should consider different voices for the various characters in order to maintain interest
  3. If more than one reads, you need to create a simple script for the various characters, narrator and so on
  4. It is really important to be well organised BEFORE you begin recording – that will make the process far simpler and easier to manage

  1. Record the story on your cell phone whilst reading from your written notes
  2. The partner plays the music at start and end of the story, fading music in and out
  3. Save sound file as MP3, wav and wma file and email to charliw@telkomsa.net

  1. Pupils should listen to the story and decide whether it should be re-recorded
  2. Pupils should cover their eyes and then ‘test’ a few textural pictures that their peers have made using ONLY their fingers to ‘read’ or ‘see’ the pictures.

Information required with your MP3 file:

Please send in a Word file containing the following information -

  1. The title of the book you read

  2. The full names of the author

  3. The full name/s of the person/people who read the story

  4. The publisher

  5. A one or two-line trailer for the story

  6. A pic of the front cover as a jpg file

Global partnerships:
Enter the world of international collaboration by contacting Mr Charli Wiggill charliw@telkomsa.net for further information. It would be wonderful to email sound files around the world to be offered to schools with children who are blind as well as pre-schools with sighted children. Any ideas to extend this project will be considered and will be greatly appreciated.