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Activity and strategy


This hands-on activity is designed to help young children who are blind or visually impaired or who have multiple disabilities to identify items that are same and different or big and little

I created this activity as a way for my kids to work independently, or with an adult, on the concepts of big and little, and same and different.  These are skills that all of our kids need to know and come up on many different assessment tools that we use.  


The goal of this activity is to create an understanding of various concepts, increase independence and allow students to work independently to practice concepts such as big/little and same/different.


  • Containers to hold objects
  • Words/symbols/pictures to create separate piles
  • Objects that are big/little, but identical in all other ways
  • Objects that are the same, some objects that have slight differences, such as color


The child independently sorts between objects that are big/little or same/different. 

big and littleInitially I would be sure to demonstrate the entire process for doing this work.  I would introduce them to all the objects, and walk them step by step through the entire process.  I would introduce only one of the activities at a time and encourage them to do it independently if they are ready. 

I am including instructions for both activities, because the process is pretty much the same, just working on different concepts.

  • The child sets up a work space, either finds a table that is not being used, or sets up a work mat to define their workspace on the floor. 
  • The child chooses the work and brings it to the workspace that they identified. 
  • The box should be placed on the left side of the mat, and the words/labels should be placed on the top of the mat… one on the right side and the other on the left side. 
  • The child looks into the box and chooses objects that are the same, and then separates them into the correct pile. 
  • Once complete, students may enjoy playing with the objects briefly before they return them to the container, return the labels to the outside of the box, and put their work mat away. 


  • Please note that the same and different work will look differently depending on the level of vision… for your low vision kids you can put things in that are the same in every way beside color for example.  Your same and differenttotally blind kids might need objects that don’t have a match, or they can put all the objects in the same pile… you can talk to them about the reasons they put them in certain piles
  • You can make similar tasks with different concepts.  I currently also have a rough/smooth rock sorting tray, and a curvy/straight line work.  I have been planning to make a long/short tray and a heavy/light tray… but haven’t gotten to it. 
  • And, I have no idea where all my objects came from… they were already in nicely marked boxes on a shelf when I started teaching… I just recently figured out how to get them out on the shelf to be used.
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