I think I see how to make the
The game will start with some possibly changeable setup like The animals have escaped from the zoo! Help rescue them by making the first letter of their names.
It might then play the sound of a monkey and say, Rescue the monkey by making the first letter of the word monkey. Can you make that letter?
Now the child has to make the letter M. If they make another letter, for example B, the game would say, You made a B, that would make B-O-N-K-E-Y, bonkey (the text-to-speech would say the word). You must make the letter M to spell M-O-N-K-E-Y, monkey. Make the letter M.
If the kid misses again it could say the letter M is dots 1, 3, and 4, Press dots 1, 3, and 4. When the kids gets it right, it would say, That's right! M-O-N-K-E-Y spells monkey. and they'd hear the monkey sound again.
Then it might say, You've rescued the monkey, now let's rescue the bear. and repeat.
This game could be played with the DDR pad *OR* with the six-key embosser like input on the keyboard. It would be the same game, just different style input.
You might even play a different version with the conventional keyboard. It might work a bit like the Braille input in that you get to hear what key you are pressing with a "preview voice" before you make the selection so a child could fumble around finding the key. We could start with words on the home keys.
Other variations of the same game might have vocabulary words and no special sounds. Maybe the teacher could enter the words with a blank where they want the child to enter the letter. So it could be first letter, or any other, depending on the lesson goal. Diane suggests we look up the list of "sight words" for elementary students and include those in an example.
Other story lines might include: barn-yard animals, machines, and foods.
My goal is getting kids making letters AND thinking about words at the same time.