"Task Analysis” or "Mini Schedules"

Activity Schedules are a list of words or pictures/symbols used to cue the student to complete the steps of specific activities, or tasks. Unlike the DAILY SCHEDULE, Activity Schedules don't list tasks for the entire day.  They target each individual step of a task, for example, washing your hands.  You might recognize this concept! Have you ever used a recipe to cook a meal? Some professionals even call these "recipes!"

SAMPLES: Hand washing Schedule, Brushing Teeth Schedule in Ms. Wellborn's Preschool Classroom

The activity schedule for a hand washing task might be the following:

  1. turn on water
  2. rinse hands
  3. soap on hands
  4. rub hands together
  5. count to 10
  6. rinse hands
  7. dry hands with paper towel
  8. turn off water with towel
  9. throw paper towel away

Depending on the type of visual symbol your child needs, you may have written words, picture symbols, photos or small object/pieces of objects which will represent each step of the activity.  The student will use each symbol to cue the next step of the process.  The teacher can use these to point to directions to help students understand her verbal directions.Visual activity schedules can be useful for teaching many kinds of sequences:

  • self-help skills (hand washing, dressing, cooking a recipe
  • leisure activities (playing a game, finding a YouTube video, making a craft project
  • social skills ("walk up to your friend," "say 'Hi'," "Ask, 'how's it going?'"...)
  • work tasks (Many teachers use task boxes with simple put together or matching tasks to allow students to complete independent work)
  • building/making project (making furniture, helping the teacher create an interactive communication board- let your students help YOU!)

The value of activity schedules is that they increase student's independence, decrease reliance on the teacher's instructions, remove the negative focus on the teacher when less desired tasks need to be accomplished, and allow the student to set the pace of their own activity (when appropriate).

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  • A task with a natural, defined sequence
  • Symbols to represent each step of the task

Optional Component

  • A means to show each step is completed (move a card, cover a symbol, check off a box)

Development Resources

People Worth Listening To!

Supplies:  velcro, laminating machine or contact paper, camera and printer for photos, iPad & apps for high tech​

Additional Learning Resources:


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