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    Mastering Matching 3D - 2D Lesson Plan

    Topics: Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans, Teaching with Pictures, Autism and Language, Elementary (4-12), Articles

    Lesson Overview

    In this lesson, the child will learn how to match 3D objects to 2D picture cards of the same object.

    Download Lesson Plan:

    Stages Learning mastering matching 3D - 2D lesson plan image

    Skills Practiced

    • 3D - 2D Matching
    • Receptive Language



    This lesson is best suited for one-on-one sessions with a teacher or therapist. The child should have mastered 3D object to 2D picture matching.


    Spread out the contents of the kit on a table. You can either sit next to the child or across from the child.


    1. Warm-up: Ask the child to help sort the 3D animals on one side of the table, and the picture cards on the other. Ask the child to match the pairs of animals, arranging each animal pair on the table.
    2. Isolate two different animal manipulatives, and review the animal names together.
    3. Show the child the card that corresponds with one of the animals. Ask the child to match the correct manipulative with the card with the prompt, “Match the (animal name).” If the child needs assistance, you can place the correct card closer to the child, and the incorrect card further away, or hold the 3D manipulative close to the correct card.
    4. Once the child is able to consistently match the correct manipulative to the card, gradually increase the number of manipulatives the child has to scan through to find the correct animal.
    5. When the child can consistently and independently match 3D to 2D with all 8 animals on the table, you can also reverse the animal manipulatives and the cards. Give the child the manipulative, and ask the child to match the manipulative to the card.
    6. Once the child is familiar with the activity and can easily master this skill, try a movement variation of this activity. Hide the animal manipulatives in a confined space. Give the child a photo card. Ask the child to hold up the photo card, walk around the room, and search for the matching manipulative. Begin with 3D objects in obvious places before gradually hiding them with more subtlety.



    1. For a more difficult version of this activity, begin by giving the child a clue about the animal you have in mind. For example, “Show me the animal that has a long neck,” or “Show me the animal that has wings.” After the child picks up the right manipulative, ask the child to find the corresponding photo card.
    2. As a variation, set up 2 pairs of correct 3D manipulative to their corresponding cards. Add one pair that is incorrectly matched. Ask the child to identify which is incorrect with, “Which animal does not match?” Then, have the child find the correct manipulative that matches with the card.

    Get Your Own Matching Kit Here!

    Sophia Chung

    Written by Sophia Chung

    Sophia Chung is a Masters of Education candidate studying at Harvard Graduate School of Education, focusing on Technology, Innovation, and Education. She is passionate about learning through tinkering, advocating for inclusive education, and storytelling with kids.