Learner-Centered Activities

TTAC » Main » Autism Spectrum Disorders » * Environment & Structure » Learner-Centered Activities

File Folders

File folders are an excellent resource for students with ASD to learn academic and functional skills in a structured format. It is essential that the folders are organized and include only the information necessary for the student to learn. All or some of the folder may be interchangeable to prohibit memorization. Below are examples of file folders for elementary and secondary students with ASD.


This is an example of a file folder used to teach simple number to word matching to an elementary student.
This folder is used to match alphabet letters. Notice the use of color on the folder. Be careful with color coding as students will learn to match colors and not perform the targeted skill.
Here you see a folder that the student is working on matching numbers to the right quantity.


Here is a folder used in a secondary science classroom. Notice the structure of the folders using thick black lines for boundaries and the use of columns for organization.
These images were used to teach a science lesson on the sun. The folder allows the student to label the layers of the sun n a hands on format. The card is a vocabulary study tool that provides the student the visual representation of the word and the definition.
In this folder all pieces are interchangeable so that the order may be mixed up each time to prohibit memorization of the ordered sequence.

Structured tasks

Structured tasks are tasks designed to answer the following questions for the student by the way the activity is laid out: What work, How much work, When will I be finished? Once taught to the student, these are excellent activities for the student to work on independently.

This is a visually structured task that asks the student to copy the pattern presented to them. When all the pieces are gone from the cup the student knows they are finished.

Interactive Books

Interactive books allow the student to engage in hands on activities while working on reading or other associated skills.

Here are two examples of interactive books. The student can match objects or pictures to the book as indicated by the students’ comprehension level.

Choice Boards

Individuals with ASD often experience difficulty making choices therefore choice boards help create a visual representation of the choice. Objects or pictures can be used on choice boards and should be offered anytime the student is presented with a choice to include break time and work activities. Choice boards also allow students control over the day which can help reduce anxiety.

This is an example of two simple choice boards. The teacher controls the options available to the student but the student decides the outcome of the choices.
  This folder was used in a secondary PE class for a student to make choices during warm up time prior to the class beginning. The wide range of choices presented difficulty for the student but once provided a visual format, he was able to participate more readily with his peers.  

VDOE Training and Technical Assistance Center @ Virginia Commonwealth University Partnership for People with Disabilities | School of Education Region 1: 700 E. Franklin St. - Suite 140, Richmond, VA 23284 (804) 828-6947 Region 8: Pickett Park, 440 QM Circle, Blackstone, VA 23824 (434) 292-3723 Copyright © 2008 VCU Training and Technical Assistance Center
VCU Virginia Department of Education Partnership for people with disabilities Bobby Blackboard Browse Aloud