Map of Familiar Area, May 8, 2020

Tips, Tricks, Modifications and Strategies

Phase III: Map of Familiar Area

May 8, 2020

Creating materials for students with CVI is always fun for me and I often wish I had more time to be creative.  During these days of social distancing, I finally have some time to create all of the materials and books that have been on my, “To Do” list.  I will be posting photos of materials, along with tips, tricks, modifications and strategies regarding materials created in the hope that you too will try your hand at making some unique, child-specific materials for your student or child.  When appropriate, I will offer templates and other materials for you to use, to complete the project as well.

For this post, I will be sharing my interpretation of an idea from the blog titled, “While You Are Home: Activities for Children With CVI” by Dr. Christine Roman.  In the blog, Dr. Roman suggests creating a map of a familiar area for your student, such as their backyard.  Using shapes, photo images and actual targets, you can create a sequence of activity which the child replicates.  You are encouraged to read Dr. Roman’s blog first, so you will better understand how this activity might be used.  You can access this blog at Dr. Roman’s website cviresources and at Paths to Literacy;

What you will need to create this activity:

  • A felt board or other map-making surface. I used a felt board called, “FeltKids”, which I believe is no longer available.  It is similar to this one at Amazon *affiliate income
  • Additional variety of colors felt, for cutting out shapes and environmental features
  • Office Depot Shipping Labels (8 ½ X 11 inches), or another premium full sheet shipping label *affiliate income
  • Hook and loop self-adhesive tape (you’ll need the Loop part only)
  • Heavy card stock or tagboard
  • APH All-In-One Board, or other slant board device

To create this activity, you will need to begin by choosing an area that is familiar to your student.  This might be his or her familiar backyard, a play area or a familiar park.  Once the area is chosen, pick out several familiar landmarks at this location.  Now, you will need to recreate this location (complete with familiar landmarks) on your felt board or other map-making surface.  While I am not currently working directly with a student due to our stay at home orders, I still wanted to create this activity to see how doable it was.  Therefore, I used my own familiar backyard setting including our pool, the patio table/chairs, specific trees (including our small orange tree), a BBQ grill and lounge chairs with blue cushions.  As noted above, I used an old felt board I have had for years which included some pre-cut pieces (sun, clouds, hedge, trees and bushes).  Depending on the student’s CVI Range score and level of complexity tolerated, you may or may not choose to use pieces such as these.

To recreate my backyard with familiar landmarks, I went to the internet and found exact (or close to) images of my lounges (with blue cushions), patio table/chairs and BBQ grill.  We have a small orange tree and I found an image of that, as well as an image of a pool that is very close in shape to ours.  Alternately, you could take crisp, clear photographs of the familiar landmarks.  I printed my internet images with my color printer on 1 large shipping label.  Once the images were cut out, they were then attached to a firmer tagboard and backed with either felt or with hook and loop tape (loop side) so they can adhere easily to the felt board.

Pictured below, the printed, realistic photograph cutouts of familiar landmarks.

Pictured below, I have used the felt board to represent my backyard and these key familiar landmarks are placed approximately where they would be found in my actual backyard.

I used an image of Elmo as my simple character figure to create a sequence of activity.  This sequence of activity might be as follows; Elmo walks from the patio table to the BBQ.  From the BBQ, he runs to the small orange tree and hides.  From the orange tree he hops to the lounges with the blue cushions.  In this scenario, there most likely would be much discussion about the salient features of each of these landmarks.  You might want to have photographs of the actual landmarks on your iPad, so the student can zoom in and look at the salient features more carefully.  Once the student practices this sequence using the simple character figure, he/she can then try it with their own body in their backyard.

As the student moves further along the CVI Range and can tolerate more complexity in the map array, more backyard color photo representations could be added.  If felt cutouts are used (i.e. yellow sun, green triangular shaped trees, etc), the student should be well into Phase III and have an understanding of symbols that represent real objects and landmarks. My map with all the bits and pieces that could be used, is pictured below.

Since all the pieces for the map “stick” or “hook” onto the felt board, I placed Velcro tabs on the back of my felt board and was able to mount it onto the All-In-One Board.  In this way, I am able to bring the felt board up into my student’s best field of view (if needed).




Please note: One or more of the links noted on this blog are affiliate links.  This simply means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at NO EXTRA cost to you.  As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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