Hone visual discrimination skills by completing the picture

Learning to observe details in pictures is a fun way for young children to hone their visual discrimination skills. Being able to identify and remember details in visual images is also a critical pre-reading skill that helps children learn and recall the formation of each uppercase and lowercase letter. My latest batch of missing pieces visual discrimination worksheets are designed to help your child practice noticing details in small pictures and completing a full picture by filling in the missing area.

Missing pieces worksheets

To begin, introduce the beginning worksheets that show one missing corner of the picture. Then, cut out the four picture squares at the bottom of the page or allow your child to cut out the squares if he is able to do this accurately. There are many other cutting worksheets on the School Sparks site to provide cutting practice if your child is still working on this skill.)

When the squares are cut out, direct your child to look at the completed picture on the worksheet page and describe what he sees. Then ask him to identify what is missing from the picture. Show him the four cut pictures pieces and ask him to choose the square that correctly completes the picture. If your child is not certain which square is correct, allow him to “test” each square by placing it in the empty space. By doing so he will likely be able to identify the picture part that correctly fits. When the correct square is identified, your child may then paste it on his worksheet page.

If your child needs to try several squares in the empty space before he can choose the correct one, it will be beneficial to copy these worksheet pages a second time. The additional worksheets will give your child opportunities to practice making the correct choice by simply looking at the options placed in front of him.

While these worksheets are designed to allow children to hone their visual discrimination skills, they can also provide practice understanding left and right orientation as well as top and bottom positions. As you ask your child to find the missing picture on each worksheet, describe to him the position of the empty square. You might begin by telling him to find the picture square that belongs in the “top, left corner” of the large picture, for example. When you believe that your child understands the concepts of left, right, top and bottom, ask him to use those words to describe the position of the empty space(s).

Additional ways to encourage your child’s visual discrimination skill development:

  • Ask your child to identify details in the picture once the worksheet is completed. You may ask him to point to specific items in the picture or question him about his favorite details.
  • Ask your child to complete a second copy of the worksheet page. Place one picture in front of your child while you keep the second picture on the table near you. Instruct your child to draw a circle around each detail on his picture after you identify the detail on your picture. Then, without speaking, point to specific details on your picture. Your child will use a pencil or crayon to circle each selected detail on his copy of the picture. You can play this game until the entire picture is covered with circles around various details in the picture.
  • Play a version of “I Spy” by giving your child verbal clues about a specific detail on the picture without actually naming the detail. Use color, shape and positional terms to describe the detail and ask your child to name and point to the part of the picture you are spying.

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