What is visual closure and which activities can help them build this concept?
I come across this query quite often and have given deep thought to its role in early learners’ and preschoolers’ learning process. A study was done at Aston University, that indicated the connection between visual closure disorder and mathematical skills too.
So, the basic things first. The visual closure can be explained as the brain’s capability to identify a completed picture in mind from its tits and bits provided. This mental ability is quite useful for acquiring spatial reasoning skills, and for building a sense of size and shape of the objects. It does tell a thing or two about symmetry in objects, the idea of spatial axes, and about early geometry concepts.
To put in simpler words, the visual closure is your ability to solve a jigsaw puzzle or fill the missing parts of a structure or shape.
Importance of visual closure in learning
Visual closure is a basic skill that may be found poorly developed to undeveloped in children or adults suffering from Dyslexia or visual perception disorder.
Children who have poor visual perception may face difficulties in forming whole letters or recognizing them. Eventually, their ability of reading and writing spellings or words are affected, which shakes their confidence in the initial learning stage. When a child’s intelligence is assessed on various grounds, visual closure is one of the aspects that tells about the learning requirements of a child.
So, children are said to be suffering fro a visual processing disorder, when they are NOT capable of:
- assessing spatial relationships between the objects and surroundings
- differentiating letters from their mirror images
- visually discriminate the objects on the basis of color, sizes, shapes, etc.
- differentiating objects from the backgrounds (the simple process of reading letters on the blackboard is a challenge!)
- identifying a face when any of the facial features is omitted from the portrait or a person’s picture.
That is why it is important for the parents and educators to know about visual closure and learn ways to strengthen this skill in children from an early age. With the help of constant practice and perseverance, the problem can be managed appreciably, and children can become more shape intelligent or acquire spatial reasoning skills.
One of the interesting ways to develop the visual closure ability in children is by doing activities that give a better practice of shape, pattern, or form recognition.
Listed here are some visual closure activities designed to help children overcome the challenges they deal with on a daily basis.
6 must-try visual closure activities
1. Do pattern or sequence completion problems
A number of pattern and sequence cracking problems can be designed to create in children a better level of awareness about the visual discrimination ability, or visual closure. For example, take a suit of clubs and show the child its shape.
Now, prepare some cards on which the three branches and base of a club are drawn in parts. You can ask the child to join all the cards together and achieve the club figure as a result of this activity. This activity can be modified to show the child the fragmented versions of various daily use objects like a mirror, or some letters like L, D, etc.
2. Play with rods
You can take a collection of plastic rods of small size. And make some incomplete letter shapes. You can ask the child to fit the rods in an incomplete portion to create the letter.
You can start by showing the outcome first and give children a matching exercise. Later, with progress, you can ask them to do the completion of letter activity using their memory.
3. Complete geometric figures
In this activity, the teachers draw a set of incomplete geometric figures on a whiteboard. Children are then asked to draw the connecting parts. As a part of initial practice, worksheets providing a clue in dotted form can be given to the students. Once they have become comfortable with strokes, grip and overall tracing activity, you can given them incomplete figures without dotted lines to draw.
Magnetic Base 10 manipulative or teaching material can also be used on the white board to create different shape completion challenges. These manipulatives allow teachers to create animals or birds shape too in origami designs. Such activity opens up the children’s minds to absorbing shape and design ideas.
4. Guess the animal game
In this activity, you will collect stuffed toys based on animal designs. You will use a hiding place like behind the door and will take out a portion of the stuffed toy so that the animal is visible partially to the kids.
The kids can see, guess, and tell, which animal it is, based on the part visible to them. This activity is a lot more fun when done fast and helps boost fluency in shape recognition ability as well. You can make a child your assistant and ask him or her to keep score to include an element of competition in the activity.
5. Solve jigsaw puzzles
There are a number of jigsaw puzzles available in the market. You can use these puzzles to give children a visual closure activity.
Starting from simple targets like completing words or sentences, you can move on to give story completing puzzles to kids where the objects and surroundings are brought together. Children learn spatial reasoning concepts better with story-based jigsaw puzzles.
6. Play visual discrimination quiz
Visual Closure ability can be enhanced if the children are given conditions which help them stimulate their brains better. Quizzes are an interesting way of providing proper stimulus to the brain. There can be many kinds of quizzes that you can design. One is a sequence completion quiz where kids can be asked the next pattern in the sequence. AA, ABA, ABBA, ABAB are some of the sequence designs that you can pick to challenge the kids into visual closure activity.
Color and shape discrimination are two other quizzes you can give. You can employ colorful chips for this activity. Divide a page into two columns. Stick on one side a chip of color of your choice, and ask the child to paste the same colored chip opposite it.
You can also play match the column quiz for shape discrimination. In this, the kids are asked to match the shapes by connecting them with lines. The introduction of threads can be an interesting way of engaging the students in matching the column activity.
Best advantages of visual closure activities
Visual closure activities are packed with multiple benefits, in fact. Kids, during their early learning stage, are required to display an expected level of proficiency in terms of recognition of numbers, shapes, colors, orientation, etc. All these basic skills are employed in reading and writing of numbers and words. With a better level of math literacy and language literacy, children can be groomed further into confident readers, writers, or drawing experts. Apart from better literacy, visual closure activities help children by:
- preparing them for real-life situations like walking, climbing stairs, catching a ball, etc.
- boosting their ability to visualize the height or size of objects
- offering relatable learning of the concept of light, dark, slow, fast, etc.
So, visual closure is not just a basic parameter for assessment of a child’s early learning abilities. It is the strong base on which the foundation of a successful life is laid. It enhances the grasping abilities of children, allowing them to stay at par with the peers studying with them at the same level.
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