Remnant Books

Describes how to make remnant books-an ideal way for students with significant disabilities, including deaf-blindness, to record their experiences. Made out of little brag books, remnant books can contain most anything that is important to the student, such as tactuals, (i.e. locks of hair from haircut, balloon scrap from parade, or a shell from the beach), pictures/print items (movie ticket stubs, part of menu, napkins with logos), textures, and scents. Students can use these to choose topics for communication or writing.

What & Why?

Remnant books are a visual/tactual way of helping students record important events in their lives. Remnant books can easily be created using inexpensive “brag books” or mini photo albums. Students can pick a familiar remnant to set a topic for face-to-face communication (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2005). Remnant books are also an excellent way for students to select a topic for writing (Musselwhite & Hanser, 2003).

How?

Adding Things to the Remnant Book

Each time the student participates in some type of event, get an object, symbol or picture from that event. The student should be involved in deciding what goes in the remnant book. The events don’t have to be the student’s favorite; they can also be things the student does not like.
Examples of remnants: Movie ticket stubs, pieces of napkins or containers from fast food restaurants, pictures from parties or holidays, pamphlet or business card from doctor’s office visit…

Place the remnants in the brag book. With a post it note, briefly write the date and the key details of the event in first person language (“I got my haircut....”). If possible, it’s important to include multiple details as this will provide more context for the unfamiliar communication partner. This will help them talk about the remnant and the event with the student, and ask more appropriate open-ended questions.
Tips: Keep extra blank post it notes in the back of the book for adding things on the fly!

Using the Remnant Book

When the student chooses to write, they can use the remnant book to select a topic. Students should use whatever access method is easiest to do this (i.e. manually turning the pages, eye gaze and/or partner assisted scanning). When an item is chosen, a copy of it can be made and placed on the writing. Consider leaving the remnants in the book, as the student may want to return to this topic and write about it again.

What Happens If the Student Doesn’t Choose Anything?

When this occurs, it is important to include a way for the student to communicate this. To support this, symbols should been included on the back page to help the student indicate: “Go through my choices again, What I want is not here,” “I have my own idea,” or “Ask me yes/no questions.” Paste these into the back of the remnant book to support topic selection: Beukelman, D. R. & Mirenda, P. (2005). Augmentative & Alternative Communication: Supporting Children & Adults with Complex Communication Needs, 3rd edition. Paul H. Brookes: Baltimore, MD. Musselwhite, C. & Hanser, G. (2003). Write to Talk-Talk to Write!: Supporting Language & Literacy for AAC Users, 2nd edition. Special Communications: Phoenix, AZ.

North Carolina Extensions Addressed While Creating & Using Remnant Books

Grade 1-5

Competency Goal 1: The learner will develop and apply enabling strategies and skills to read and write.
Extension: The learner will develop and apply enabling strategies and skills to read and write.

  • Kindergarten: Develop book and print awareness, Attend to pictures, text, environmental print or symbols.
  • Grade 1: Demonstrate awareness of letters and non-letters, Demonstrate awareness of symbol/letter-sound relationships, Increase vocabulary.
  • Grade 2: Demonstrate awareness of symbol/letter-sound relationships, Demonstrate sustained attention to text.
  • Grade 3: Demonstrate sustained attention to text, Increase sight-symbol vocabulary, Connect experience and text.
  • Grade 4: Increase sight-symbol vocabulary.
  • Grade 5: Expand and refine vocabulary, Demonstrate awareness of key words in text.

Competency Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
Extensions: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.

  • Kindergarten: Demonstrate sense, concept and/or sense of story, Develop awareness of different forms of text (e.g. pictures, text environmental print or symbols), Follow oral-graphic directions.
  • Grade 1: Demonstrate comprehension of text.
  • Grade 2: Make connections between ideas and text, Derive meaning from visual representations.
  • Grade 3, 4, 5: Demonstrate active listening.

Competency Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
Extension: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.

  • Kindergarten: Connects text to self, Connects text to world.
  • Grade 1: Connects text to self, Connects text to world, Determine message of text/speaker.
  • Grade 2: Connects text to self, Connects text to world, Increase sight/symbol vocabulary.
  • Grade 3, 4, 5: Connects text to self, Connects text to world, Examine/explore visual representations, Explore a variety of information sources.

Competency Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written and visual texts.
Extension: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written and visual texts.

  • Kindergarten: Use new vocabulary words and/or symbols, Maintain or attend to conversations, Write and/or participate in writing behaviors.
  • Grade 1: Use new vocabulary and/or symbols, Write and/or participate in writing behaviors, Engage in story-telling (characters, settings, actions, and events).
  • Grade 2: Write and/or participate in writing behaviors, Relate information in organized fashion, Explore visual representations.
  • Grade 3: Share written or oral products in a variety of ways, Write and/or participate in writing behaviors, Compose visual representations, Explore technology as a tool to produce a product.
  • Grade 4: Share written or oral products in a variety of ways, Participate in pre-writing activities, Write and/or participate in writing behaviors, Use technology as a tool in preparing a product.
  • Grade 5: Demonstrate self-determination skills through a product, Write and/or participate in writing behaviors, Use technology to produce a product.

Grade 6

Competency Goal 1: The learner will use language to express individual perspectives drawn from personal or related experience (oral and written expression-expressive and not informational, use journal).
Extension: The learner will use language to express individual perspectives drawn from personal or related experience (me).

  • Communicate an expressive event orally and in writing, incorporating personally relevant details and feelings.
  • Explore and comprehend expressive materials that make connections between events and feelings.

Competency Goal 2: The learner will explore and analyze information from a variety of sources. Extension: The learner will explore and make connections with a variety of sources.

  • Explore, interact with, and/or demonstrate comprehension of informational materials that are read, heard or viewed.
  • Make connections between self and informational materials.

Grade 7

Competency Goal 1: The learner will use language to express individual perspectives in response to personal, social, cultural and historical issues.
Extension: The learner will use language to express individual perspectives in response to personal and social issues (me and my community).

  • Communicate an expressive event orally and in writing, incorporating point of view.
  • Respond to and comprehend expressive materials that make connections between events and feelings.

Competency Goal 3: The learner will refine the understanding and use of argument.
Extension: The learner will explore, identify and/or support a preference, opinion or argument.

  • Explore, interact with and/or demonstrate comprehension of sources containing preference, opinion or argument.
  • Express and support preference, opinion or argument.

Grade 8

Competency Goal 1: The learner will use language to express individual perspectives through the analysis of personal, social, cultural and historical issues.
Extension: The learner will use language to express individual perspectives through the analysis of personal, social, cultural and/or historical issues (me in the world).

  • Communicate an expressive event orally and in writing, showing connections between self and others.
  • Interact with and comprehend expressive materials that make connections between events and feelings.

Competency Goal 3: The learner will continue to refine the understanding and use of argument.
Extension: The learner will explore, identify, support and/or evaluate a preference, opinion or argument.

  • Explore, interact with, demonstrate comprehension of, and/or evaluate of sources containing preference, opinion or argument.
  • Express and support preference, opinion or argument.

Grade 9

Competency Goal 1: The learner will express reflections and reactions to print and non-print text and personal experiences.
Extension: The learner will explore and express reflections and reactions to print and non-print text.

  • Communicate personal experiences orally and in writing (product), expressing student’s personal voice.
  • Comprehend and respond to expressive materials that make connections between text and experience.

Competency Goal 2: The learner will explain meaning, describe processes, an answer research questions to inform an audience.
Extension: The learner will explore, organize and use information from a variety of sources.

  • Explore, interact with, demonstrate comprehension, and/or sharing of informational materials that are read, heard or viewed.
  • Make connections between and/or determine importance/relevance of sources of information.
  • Use information from multiple sources to communicate or create an informational product.

Competency Goal 3: The learner will examine argumentation and develop informed questions.
Extension: The learner will explore, identify, and/or provide informed support for a preference, opinion or argument.

  • Explore, interact with, demonstrate comprehension of and/or evaluate sources containing preference, opinion or argument.
  • Use information to express and/or support preference, opinion or argument. Grade 10

Competency Goal 4: The learner will critically interpret and evaluate experiences, literature, language and ideas.
Extension: Interpret and/or evaluate experiences, world events, literature, language and/or ideas.

  • Make generalizations and connections between experiences, world events, literature, language and/or ideas.
  • Demonstrate understanding of impact of elements or parts to work(s) as a whole.

 

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(Compiled by Hanser, 2004)

This handout is the Intellectual Property of The Center for Literacy and Disability Studies. Updated 9/2006

For Use in All Classrooms to Facilitate the Development of Exemplary, Research-Based Literacy Practices