Themes (Ages 11-14)

Draw together the strands of the theme of "Vision" within the Miriam's Vision resource.

  • Appreciate the sense of vision
  • Learn about Miriam Hyman
  • Relate to aspects of Miriam's Vision
  • Define and explore different aspects of "vision"
  • Consider the importance of our sense of vision
  • Know about Miriam Hyman, the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust, the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre and Miriam's Vision
  • Apply aspects of Miriam's Vision to own lives

This material can be used in conjunction with any of the Miriam's Vision modules, working especially well with Art and Dance, or as a stand-alone session. The lesson plan could be used over one or two sessions, depending on how much time you have and how much detail you go into. Activities are optional. It starts by defining "vision", looks at how our eyes work, goes into visual impairment and then into the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre. It ends with "Miriam's vision" of the future.


Project MV Vision 1.1 Presentation, Slide 1. Ask students for definitions of "vision". Slide 2 Go through the definitions of "vision" with the class. Note that there are a lot of ways of defining this word. Explain the focus on two of the definitions; the sense of sight, and an idea of what should happen in the future.

Phase 1: The sense of vision

Slide 3 has five facts explaining the complexity and importance of our eyes. It ends by asking, "Can you summarise?" (Our eyes are an important way of getting information about the world around us, and for survival.)

Project Slide 4 and then MV Vision 1.2 The Hyman Eye. Go through it with the class.

Slide 5 is a link to a BBC Bitesize clip "The Human Eye" (5 minutes). The last part of the clip is about a sea tribe whose eyes have adapted to be able to see more clearly under water.

Phase 2: Vision impairment

Slide 6 is an introduction to vision impairment. Go through the definition and facts with the class.

Slide 7 invites you and the students to share experiences of vision impairment. The point is that it is common, and that without access to eye care services visually impaired people would struggle to undertake everyday activities. "What is helpful?" refers to aids such as guide dogs, high definition computer screens, braille in the environment, pedestrian crossings with audible signals, etc. There is a very wide range of aids that can be explored online.

Slides 8 to 12 are five activities exploring the importance of the sense of vision. These have been adapted from the RNIB's "Activities to develop pupils’ learning about vision impairment"

Use as many of these activities as you wish.

Activity 1: Feel and describe

Simply ask the class to close their eyes, focus on what they are able to sense and describe it. Then ask for contributions about everyday or more unusual experiences (eg being in a busy or beautiful place) that would be very different without the sense of sight, and how. Finally, ask the students to take a moment to close their eyes when they are in different situations (when it is safe) and experience what it would be like without the sense of vision. They could report back next session.

Activity 2: Identify objects

Before the session, gather a few objects and hide them in a bag or box. Blindfold one student and get them to identify the objects. This activity could also be done in pairs or groups so that all the students get to have a go. The slide asks students to describe their experience.

Activity 3: Identify smells

Before the session, gather a few objects with different smells and hide them as in Activity 2. Blindfold one student and get them to identify the smells. Suggest some natural and some artificial odours. Again this can be done in pairs or groups. Get the students to describe their experience.

Activity 4: Identify flavours

As above, gather some foods and drinks (preferably distributed into individual sample containers), ensuring that any allergies are taken into account. Hide them, blindfold a student and get them to identify the flavour, and continue in pairs or groups, asking the students to describe their experience. Suggest some strong and some subtle flavours.

Activity 5: Follow the leader

Either in the classroom or in a bigger space, set up short "obstacle courses" (with the students' help). Suggest using PE equipment and classroom furniture. They work in pairs, one leading a blindfolded partner around the obstacles. Get the students to describe their experience when blindfolded. You may want to prepare a risk assessment for this activity.

Ask students to summarise their blindfolded experiences.

Phase 3: The Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre (MHCECC)

Slides 13 to 15 introduce Miriam Hyman and the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre. Go through the slides with the class.

Slide 16 gives links to six videos and two websites:


Slide 17 is an opportunity to review the information about Miriam, the MHMT, the MHCECC and Miriam's Vision with nine questions to be answered. You may choose to do this orally as a class, in groups or pairs, or individually in writing. Review the answers as a class.


Slide 18 asks, "Do you share Miriam's vision?" The three questions are intended to focus the students on the purpose of the Miriam's Vision resource. This would be best as a class discussion.

Slide 19 is a list of the sources used in this presentation, with an invitation to students to find other interesting related links. You may want to set this as homework.