Visual activity schedules

Visual schedules are a series of images that depict a sequence of events that the student needs to compete. Visual schedules can be used to remind and guide a student on how to complete a single task or provide them an overview of their whole day.

Visual activity schedules can be used to increase activity engagement for students who have difficulties following instructions, completing tasks or moving between activities, leading to improving academic and social skills and managing disruptive behaviours. Use of visual schedules may reduce the dependence of the student on the teacher and the amount of prompting and support required from the teacher.

Relatable images

Accordion Content

Make use of drawings or photos of; equipment needed, students or the student completing certain tasks, maps, cartoon scripts, labels and checklists. A visual schedule may be printed for a student’s use or presented in a digital format which may be more portable, less stigmatising and allow for more individualisation than handmade visual supports.

Clear instructions

Accordion Content

Non-ambiguous instructions should be provided at each stage of the schedule for the student. The expected outcome of the task and the steps that need to be taken should be explicitly laid out prior to each task.


Accordion Content

Visual schedules for each student are most effective when addressing the individual concerns or difficulties of that student. Visual schedules provide predictability for the student and reduce worries about ‘what’s next’.

Power cards

Accordion Content

Power Cards are short (palm size card) stories or scenarios written from the student’s perspective that describe social situation and provides instruction on positive, appropriate social behaviours through text and visual supports.

The power card explains how the hero (special interest person or character) has encountered and solved the problem. The Power Card contains a picture of the hero. The student carries this card with them as a reminder and guide when a similar situation comes up.

A Power Card example:

Just like Spiderman!!

Spiderman wants me to remember these three things:

  1. Keep my hands to myself
  2. Use my words with a quiet voice
  3. Keep listening to my teacher.

If the behaviour persists despite trying a number of interventions, discuss the student’s situation with a supervisor or member of the learning and wellbeing support staff at your school.

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