TADA! Activity 2 Beginner - Descriptive Language and Drawing

In this adventure, students will explore the intersection of descriptive language and tactile graphics. Students will explore how being specific and precise in creating directions is important in the creation of tactile graphics.

Setup - Activity 2

This activity can be broken down into several elements for lesson planning.


  • Learn the importance of using descriptive language when creating a set of instructions for creating images.
  • Learn the importance of effective communication.
  • Create an image and precise directions for someone else to follow to recreate the image.

Materials Needed

Alternative Materials

Ideas for Carrying Out This Activity

  • Allow students to work with partners if possible.

Adventure Map: Activity 2

Teaching tip: Provide sufficient time for the student to explore, develop skills, and have fun at each step! Encouraging creativity and personal preferences for drawing as much as possible. Some students may be able to accomplish each step in one session; most students will need several sessions to complete the adventure.

1. Introduction

  • Ask your student: How does a computer know how to create an image? The answer is “You!” The goal of this question is to get the student to understand that in order to create images, computers just follow directions they are given.
  • In the following adventure your student will practice drawing, creating directions to recreate their drawings and try to create drawings when given directions.
  • Introduction video — 17:15 duration

2. Create Your Graphic

  • Provide your student with drawing materials.
  • Ask them to create their own drawings using only five geometric shapes (e.g., square, circle, triangle, rectangle)
  • If the student is having difficulty coming up with their own idea, have them start out by trying to draw a house using 4 rectangles and a triangle, like in the introduction video and then have them move on to their own drawing.

3. Explain Your Process

  • Write or have your student write what they are doing in specific terms (exact measurement, tactile subjective measurement/ finger width, fractional positioning, clock directions or cardinal directions). Use a list format to organize your step-by-step directions.
  • Explain that another student will use the directions to recreate the drawing. The other student should not look at the drawing, only the directions.

4. Switch Roles

  • This part works best with a peer, but can be done with the teacher.
  • After the students have finished their drawing and instructions, have them give just their instructions to a peer to read and try and replicate the drawing.
  • After the students have finished they should compare their drawing to the original.
  • If it isn’t feasible to complete this activity with a peer. The teacher can try and draw the image based only on the student’s directions. Make sure to follow the instructions given, highlighting where the student could be more descriptive.

5. Sharing and Discussion

  • Have each student share their replicated and original drawings.
  • Encourage them to describe what they've created and explain their process.
    • How did you create the instructions for recreating your drawing? Would you change your process for next time?
    • Was your partner's drawing close to yours? If not, what happened? What could you do differently to fix this?
  • Discuss how technology can assist in creating tactile graphics.
    • What benefits does using technology allow? (e.g., copying, deleting, rotating, sharing).

6. Conclusion

  • Which role were you better at—listening or describing? Explain why.
  • Emphasize the importance of communicating effectively.
  • How can tactile graphics play a role in being an effective communicator?