What is the Forgotten Value of Visual Discrimination?

5:00 AM


   Visual Discrimination is an important skill area of instruction, that is often overlooked.  

Think about it as you go about your own day. 

  • Have you ever looked at a word, and read it wrong, such as horse and house.   
  • What about telephone numbers, reversing the sequence of numbers, have you ever done that.
  • Meeting a new friend, and then telling someone else what they looked liked.

  • In science you ask students to describe attributes of an object.
    In math, students need to see the numbers without reversing them, such as 6 and 9.
    In reading, young students reverse b and d, p and q, and other letters.   Plus they might read saw as was.  The examples, can be endless.

So the solution is to have students practice the skill of visual discrimination daily. 

Now, you say, how can I fit that into my already crammed schedule. 

Here are some ways to implement this simple skill.

  • Ask your students to tell you about the way two different items are the same and different.  Such as two apples can be round, have spots, but one might be red and the other green.
  • On the playground ask them to count how many students have a certain color shirt or coat.  When they come in from outside they have to tell you the number before getting a drink. 
  • After lunch, ask the students what the sequence of food was in the  serving line.
  • Provide visuals around the room of pictures that can be changed periodically.  Ask them questions about one of the pictures.  They can draw, write, or tell a friend the answer.
  • Play I Spy when standing in a line.  
  • When leaving a reading group or a center, ask them to tell you three words they read today with four letters. 
  • Provide centers in which students have to find a character, like in the Waldo books.  
  •  There are plenty of Look and Find books in stores and in the library.  

Here is a link for some practice pages to find a smiley apple. 

 One page is in color, which your students can use in a center.  Laminate it or place in a plastic sleeve.  The student can place counters on it, circle the correct apples, or check them off. 
 An answer key is included. 

 I used the transparent counters for easy ways to cover them, and to move it around in case of an error.

 The second page is in black and white to use for seat work or homework.

To increase your students skills in all areas of the curriculum start providing ways for them to make 

Visual Discrimination a Part of Each Day!

by Learning Whimsically at Mickey's Place

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