Visual Discrimination, Sequencing, & Scanning Activities
By: Carmen Willings
Updated June 9, 2019
Visual discrimination is the ability to recognize details in visual images. It allows students to identify and recognize the likeness and differences of shapes/forms, colors and position of objects, people, and printed materials. In order to learn to read print, students will need to develop their visual discrimination skills.
There are numerous activities that students can do to help them develop visual discrimination skills. Encourage students to visually discrimination through matching photos, letters, words, pictures, or other objects and materials.
Visually Discriminate 3D Objects
Help develop a student's ability to discriminate 3D objects by encouraging the student to match and sort objects and geometric shapes by size. Provide the students with multiple items that are different in size but otherwise identical to sort. Once a student demonstrates their understanding of the difference in shapes, encourage them to identify the shapes. Next have the student identify the shapes contained in environmental objects (ex. the top of a soup can is a circle, the blackboard or smartboard is a rectangle, etc.).
Visually Discriminate Shapes
Help develop a student's ability to discriminate shapes by encouraging the student to visually identify pictures of shapes and their features at different distances. There are many fun commercially available games and toys to practice matching shapes. File folder games are another way to work on this skill. Once a student is able to this, you can further develop their skills by having them match a series of shapes or beads by color and form.
Visually Discriminate Drawings & Pictures
Help develop a student's ability to discriminate drawings and pictures by encouraging the student to identify two identical pictures from a choice of three or more. Next, encourage the student to name pictures of shapes and drawings. Can the student describe the action taking place in the picture? Can the student sequence the actions in a story sequence? Encourage the student to visually explore and point out pictures and objects within a picture or book. Encourage the students to match identical pictures and to identify pictures of common objects by their function.
Toodle Tiles: Emmy's Town Software
This matching game based on the game of Mahjong and available from APH is a bright, high-contrast colors and simple designs. Students clear the board by locating matching tiles. Students enjoy the fun sounds and comments as they match tiles (and even when they don't).
Visually Discriminate Color
To help the student develop their skills in discriminating colors, encourage the student to sort and match colors. The student can then practice identifying the colors (primary and secondary). This is only an appropriate skill for students who's color vision is intact. For other students, it can be appropriate to work on color associations.
Visually Discriminate Letters & Words
To help a student practice discriminating letters and numbers, encourage the student to match and identify letters, words, and letters. There are a number of fun toys and games on the market to help students learn letters. Choose those that have simple fonts, are well spaced and in a font size that is accessible to the student.
To help a student practice visually sequencing materials, provide high contrast materials. Students should be encouraged to arrange objects from smallest to largest, nest objects, match a series of beads according to two variables (shape and color; color and size; size and shape, etc.), and follow and continue a pattern. Students should also be encouraged to sequence pictures to tell a story.
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