Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Leveled Puzzle Work Tasks

Chris over at Autism Classroom News had me worried with all her recent website changes, I was concerned Workbasket Wednesday was a thing of the past. . but lucky for us it is still going and on even better platform than before!  After you check out my leveled puzzle work tasks, be sure to head over to Autism Classroom Resources (formally known as Autism Classroom News) to see all the amazing things Chris has going on as she never fails to impress!

Let's get started...
Puzzles can be excellent workbasket items and with a little bit of tweaking they can even be leveled!  For example, I purchased four wooden alphabet puzzles from Target (for $1.00 each) several years ago and made four different tasks!

For level 1, I glued the puzzle pieces for rows one through three into the puzzle so the students would only have to put in the last row of pieces to complete the puzzle.  Then for level 2, I glued in rows one and two, for level 3 I glued in row one and for level four I didn't glue any rows in.  NOTE: I glued from the top down starting with the letter A rather than gluing from the bottom up starting with Z so student could see themselves complete the puzzle as they put the last few pieces in instead of putting the beginning few pieces in. 

If you look closely you will see Velcro on each of the pieces the children are asked to put in.  Velcro, you ask, but why the pieces are already inset into the puzzle? The truth is, I Velcro the puzzle pieces into almost all of my puzzles. If I am using them as a work task it makes them more permanent. When the students are finished with the work task and slide or dump it into the all done basket the pieces stay and the work is in tact.  Also I am less likely to loose the pieces and my students who are fiddlers or stimmers can be more successful.

Don't have the alphabet puzzles I purchased from Target five plus years ago... NO WORRY!  I picked up these alphabet puzzles (one upper case and one lower case) at the Dollar Tree just last week.   

They can be leveled work tasks without any glue or Velcro! 

To make the foam lowercase puzzle into a work task, I simply hot glued the base to a piece of cardboard and a bowl to the left hand side of the base.  Because the pieces are inset and they fit so snug to the base, I can simply take out the ones you want the child to put in depending on their individual level and ability.

The uppercase space puzzle is even easier!  It has it's own cardboard backing so I can simply take out the pieces I want the child to put in and I have it leveled to the child's needs.

NOTE:  A lot of students learn the letters in their name first, you can use these puzzles to support students in learning the letters of their name by simply taking only those letters out of the puzzle for the students to work on.

You can also take a photo of the completed puzzle and use it for a visual of what the finished puzzle looks like.  I packing taped my visual to the edge of the puzzle and folded it under the puzzle so if a student is struggling I can simply flip the visual up for additional support and even point to it as needed!

Need more. . . I also found these two puzzles at the Dollar Tree.

These also fit snug to the base and have a cardboard backing making them easily leveled!  However I took these puzzles one step further by purchasing two of each, one to keep whole and the other to cut apart into mini puzzles. 


For some students even when you only have a few pieces out for them to put in it is overwhelming.  Visually they are not ready for a puzzle of this size regardless of the number of pieces they are expected to put in.  By cutting a puzzle apart into smaller parts students can experience the puzzle in a successful way and then you can build up from there by presenting them different levels of puzzles as they gain skill. 

That is it for now!  Happy puzzle leveling until next time,


  1. Lindy, thanks so much for linking up! I love this! I always use Velcro on puzzle pieces but never thought to glue pieces in to make them easier levels. What a wonderful idea!!
    Autism Classroom Resources

  2. I do similar tasks in my classroom. I love the new puzzles you've found at dollar tree! I have such a variety of levels in my class, I have about 100+ workbaskets going at once! (10 students can get a bit hectic!)

    1. I know! So many students with so many levels can be a nightmare. Hope these leveling tips give you a little relief:)

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