Shadow Box


Shadow Box

The Shadow Box is a tangible computing project that exploits visual association and auditory clues to teach children pre-reading skills. An augmentation of the wooden alphabet blocks traditionally used to teach children letter identification, the Shadow box focuses on word-object relationships, allowing children to explore the higher level concept of word recognition in a fun and engaging environment. Through the process of matching words with their visual representations, children will explore the relationship between a word and its meaning, providing the conceptual framework necessary to acquire higher level pre-reading skills leading up to phonemic awareness. By permitting children to explore reading independent of a parent or teacher, a sense of play is maintained and the benefits of constructivist learning are enhanced.

The Shadow Box consists of three primary components: the shadow box itself, picture blocks, and word blocks. In order to activate the Shadow Box, a single block or a matching pair of blocks must be placed inside the box.  If the child inserts a word block, the box pronounces and spells the word and prompts the child to look for its matching picture by projecting a static shadow image of the object.  A similar sequence is initiated when a child inserts a picture object during which the child is prompted to find the matching word block. When the child successfully places a picture block and its corresponding word block inside the Shadow Box, they are rewarded with an animated movie clip.

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