A Creative Way to Teach Left and Right Identification

Contributed by: Alexis Read, CVRT

I am visually impaired and had O&M instruction very infrequently as a child. As a result of this, I had gaps in my skills when I went away to graduate school. In 2007, I was matched with a guide dog who suffered frequent ear infections. This is not the dog in the photograph. I struggled to medicate the dog when she was facing me because I didn’t know which was left or right. I discussed the problem with my instructor who devised this creative lesson.

IMG_0281

Goal: Left/right identification
Appropriate for ages: Elementary or older students missing this skill
Materials: stuffed animal with an item sewn into one of his/her hands

Procedure:
1. Have the student state which hand the object is sewn in.
2. When the student has achieved 95% or greater accuracy, turn the animal so he/she is facing the student.
3. Have the student point to the animal’s left and right side as the animal is facing the student.
4. If available, bring in a dog or other tame animal. Have the student point to the animal’s left paw, left ear, and so on.
5. Once the student is confident with this task, have him/her point to the animal’s left ear, paw, and so on when facing the animal.

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