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    Using the Free Language Builder App and Language Builder Cards Together

    Topics: Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities, Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans, Teaching with Pictures, Autism and Language, Autism Technology, Infant/Toddler (0-3), Elementary (4-12)

    Lesson Overview:

    Students will use Language Builder cards with the Language Builder App to practice similar matching in both a digital and physical setting.

    So you've just downloaded the new Free Language Builder App. That means you can throw out all your paper flash cards right? NO!! As you may have already realized through our previous blogs, we are big proponents for blending hands-on and digital learning. There are so many ways that you can combine both digital and tangible resources to support deeper engagement. Our intent with the Free Language Builder App is to complement, rather than replace, the physical products.

    Download Lesson Plan:



    The student will demonstrate his/her similar matching skills using pictures of familiar objects. 

    Skills Practiced:

    • Build ability to generalize across different settings
    • Identify pictures that are similar
    • Fine motor skills

    Materials Needed:


    • This lesson is designed for 1:1 instruction with a teacher or therapist.

    Set Up:

    Choose the target and distractor cards on the Language Builder App. Target cards (example - cookie 1, flower 1, cat 1). Choose distractor cards that are not in those categories (example – car 1, chair 1, spoon1). 

    You can choose more than 3 distractors, but keeping a small number of distractors makes it easier to change the physical cards. 

    Pull out the same cards from your language builder set. Make sure to pull out similar cards to each of the target cards. 

    Set the distractor cards out and have the similar cards in a pile that you can easily reach.



    With the app and the physical cards set up, open up the "Similar Matching" activity on the iPad. Go through the "Similar Matching" activity once with the student without the physical cards.

    When the app activity is complete, do the same activity with just the physical cards.

    When complete, instruct the student that they are going to have to match the picture on the iPad and they have to find another similar matching picture in the cards on the table.

    When the target card appears on the iPad screen, find the similar card in the pile and place it with the distractor cards.

    Record results on your Free Similar Object Matching 3 Data Sheet.


    This activity can be made simpler or more difficult by adding in more distractors. The app is limited to 5 distractor cards on the screen, but you can add more physical distractor cards.

    You can also add position changes to the app and the physical cards for an additional level of difficulty.

    You’ve read one way of using the Free Language Builder App and Language Builder Cards together. Learn how to use the app for ABA prompting in our article, “Prompting in ABA Activities – A Little Nudge Goes A Long Way.

      Download the Language Builder Free App




    Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M.

    Written by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M.

    Angela Nelson is the creator of the widely-recognized Language Builder Picture Card Series, and the creator and lead author for the Language Builder ARIS curriculum. Angela received her BA and JD from UCLA where she studied and practiced behavior psychology under Dr. Ivar Lovaas, and her Ed.M. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a focus on technology innovation and education. As Founder and CEO of Stages Learning Materials, Angela has created autism, special needs and early childhood curriculum products since 1997. In addition to her duties at Stages, Angela writes for multiple industry publications and is Chair of the Education Market Association.