As I researched my upcoming book all about early literacy in early childhood classrooms, one area that I haven’t focused on as much as I should have been over the years was visual discrimination. I have included some activities in my Build Thematic Units, but I didn’t really dive into why visual discrimination is important or think of ways to bring this skill down to it’s most basic level until now. First, let me explain why it is important; visual discrimination is an important skill because it helps children see the differences between what they are seeing. Is that a b or a d? Is that sight word the or they? As children hone this skill, it adds to their toolbox for literacy. It is not the only skill by a longshot but I like to think of our role in literacy development as the host at a wonderful Sunday brunch, we try to put out all the sustenance our guests need in our buffet but give them options; ham isn’t the only protein on the buffet, there are eggs, and maybe cheese or hummus too. Just like a good host as teachers we need to offer a lot of activities that work to fill our students up with the skills they need. Working on opposites, sizes, shapes, and even color matching are all visual discrimination skills as well. I just want to add another option to the mix with these visual discrimination puzzles.
Gather your materials. You will need my free fall visual discrimination puzzles, a laminator, dry erase pen, some paper towel or a baby wipe, and scissors. They tray is optional.
Start by printing out the puzzles. You may be saying ” Uh Allie, those are just pictures…” and you are right, so feel free to use any picture, I just like that they are uniform and so it’s a bit of a challenge for my students to look at the item, not just the background color or frame which are all identical.
Now with the dry erase section off one corner and cut.
Then use that cut as a guide for the others.
Place the large and small cut corners on a tray.
Invite your students to come to match them up. This is a great activity for very young learners, PreK students will likely be bored to tears and need more of a challenge but this is a great start for our youngest learners.