This morning I found a wonderful free tool available on the web. The Canadian website, http://www.Connectability.ca offers a small library of free pictures and several templates to display pictures of different sizes. The visual engine is super easy to use and may provide helpful pictures for nouns referred to in the ministry setting. For kids with learning differences, showing pictures is often imperative to help them process instruction or connect with a story. And for typical kids, displaying visual aids helps keep them engaged.
Here’s how you use the Connectability.ca Visual Engine:
- Go to http://connectability.ca/visuals-engine/
- Select the template with the number of pictures you want to use.
- Click on “Add” to enter the picture library
- Type the name of an object or noun in the search bar
- Click on the desired picture
- Label the picture
- Repeat process for other pictures, then save and/or print pdf document.
You can use these pictures to develop a visual schedule or to provide visual instructions for an upcoming craft or group activity Today I just happen to be developing a small group leader script for the Christmas story. For one particular lesson in December (and for older, higher functioning learners) we’re emphasizing the fact that Mary & Joseph didn’t have an airplane, bus, or boat to travel from Galilee to Bethlehem….instead they traveled by donkey. When we get to this part of the story, the storyteller can show ministry participants the color worksheet I just made from this tool. (The visual engine didn’t have a donkey so I used a horse.) Here’s my example visual support: Modes of Transportation Visual Support from Connectabilitydotca
Be sure to look through the “Different Uses” section of the webpage as it does a great job of showing how to use visual supports. This article, Using Visuals, also provides helpful instruction for how to use and display pictures for a schedule, sequence strips and more. If you are currently modifying curriculum for special needs environments or you want to add some visual supports for a buddy to use one-on-one when helping a participant with learning differences, these tips are great.