Visual Preferences Lesson Plan

Visual Preferences

Created by Kumi Wauthier, 3LPlace, 2016


Applies to:  Self-Awareness, ADEF, Critical Thinking

Purpose: Members will explore visual stimuli and identify preferences


  1. Verbalizing - putting sensory preferences into words
  2. Categorization (positive, negative and neutral)
  3. Managing stress and anxiety related to sensory input (visuals)
  4. Higher Order Thinking (discussing which strategies might help during moments of dysregulation or how to prepare ourselves when we know we may come into contact with overwhelming visual input)

Materials needed:

  • Various visual stimuli including flashlights, kaleidescopes, stim strings, bubble toys, fiberoptic lights, viewmaker toy, lava lamps, bright lights, light box app on ipad, etc.
  • Computer with internet connection
  • (Optional) materials to make visual calm down jar

Activity Steps

  1. Explore the visual stimuli — What looks familiar versus unfamiliar?
  2. Members try out one visual stimuli and describe (relaxing, uncomfortable, bright, etc.) using refer to word bank as needed
  3. Categorize (dislike, ambivalent/neutral, like) by writing or pasting the picture in the corresponding place on the worksheet
  4. Repeat process with each visual stimuli
  5. Share: Choose one option
  • After members complete their preference chart, they present it to the group and describe how certain stimuli makes them feel, or
  • Members can look at each other’s work using a “gallery walk” format (tape worksheets up around the room and have students walk around looking at each other’s work).


Are there any other visual stimuli you enjoy/dislike that is not listed?

Draw conclusions about student’s overall sensitivity/reactivity to visual stimuli--Do you notice any patterns?

Which strategy would you like to try more often?

Where might you encounter the visual stimuli that you dislike?  What can you do to prevent yourself from becoming dysregulated?

Sometimes people enjoy looking at a specific color.  What color do you like looking at the most?

Extension Make a visual calm down jar.  Here are two sets of instructions:

Explore visual items online/in a store and purchase a visual strategy that works for you

Watch Amanda Baggs “In My Language” and discuss the visual stimuli she uses.


3LPlace Curriculum Wiki