Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Alphabets and Communication

For June's Project Club, we did different alphabets that people use for special communication.  We all learned to read and say the same letters of the same alphabet but not everyone can speak, see, or hear.

We learned about Braille and how Louis Braille was inspired to develop Braille.  It stems from Night Writing which was developed by Charles Barbier.  He developed a system of dots that needed a 12 cell (12 dots in the cell) and it was too hard for the soldiers to read it quickly without moving their fingers.

Louis Braille felt it and devised the current alphabet that blind or visually impaired people use to read.  It is a six cell or six dots in the cell.  This means that the reader can feel it with their finger tip without moving the finger.

We then looked at finger spelling which is something deaf people use to communicate.  We concentrated on four different alphabets for sign language.  ASL - American Sign Language, LSF (langue des signes française), Die Deutsche Gebärdensprache (German Sign Language), and finally BSL (British Sign Language).

What was interesting to me is that the American, German, and French finger spelling is all done with one hand.  British finger spelling uses two hands.  I found resources for both left and right handed people.

We then moved on to communicating with people who are not close to you.  There are two special codes that we found for this (note there are several more but we focused on two!).  We found Morse code which is an alphabet made up of combinations dots and dashes.  This can be communicated by sound and by light and means you don't need to be in the same room with someone.  We also found semaphore which is one of MANY codes for communicating with flags.  We decided to assign this to the category of military because many of the training videos that we found for Morse code and semaphore were for the military.

Here are our photos:

This is the whole board along with some resources for the other families.

Braille and Night Writing

Various Sign Language Alphabets

Morse Code, Semaphore and Ken holding Semaphore flags :-) 

We were inspired to learn more about telegraphs and how they worked and so in the future may do a project on that. :-)