Video: How to Create and Use a Picture Schedule in your Art Room

You may have seen your special education teacher use a picture schedule to help students with things like transitions, following directions, and multi-step processes, but I bet you’ve never seen one designed just for the art room! In this video, you will get an inside peek at how I put together and use one of my FAVORITE things I’ve ever created for my art room: An art room picture schedule.

I organize all of the cards for my picture schedule in a nice clear binder, which makes it easy for the associates to find and use in the classroom.



Do you use Picture Cards in the Art Room? Tell us how!

What are some other visuals that help special needs students in your art room? 

6 years ago

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Mrs.C

    My non-verbal students used to bring these binders to art and everywhere else they went. Now they have IPads and they have an app that brings up these icons right onto their IPad!

    • Yes, there are some great new Apps out there. Isn’t technology fabulous? I will have to look into them and review one sometime.

      • Joe

        Great idea!! Where can I find the pictures that you used. Thanks!!

  • KNS

    I really like this idea and it looks like it can be easily be used even if you are a travel teacher. I was curious if you have a system that you use when kids are asking questions for help in art? Sometimes, my students struggle describing what they need help on or what step they don’t understand (I try to encourage them to use words and to not just point). Some of my students are ESLso English is a secondary language. I have a couple of magnets that have pictures and labels of different art actions but wasn’t sure if there’s a better way to go about this problem.

    • That is a great question. Something like this is really trial and error depending on the student and age level, but your magnet system sounds like a great start. The emotions section of my picture schedule could be helpful when a student does need help.

  • Pam Roble

    I also create “Art To Do Lists” which also help the students by breaking down the activities and steps to a project during the class period. Great for nonverbal and spectrum disorder students.

  • Hannah

    For multi-step lessons that I know many students will vary with their speeds, I actually just draw the steps on the white board, especially for my little ones that can’t read “draw a triangle,” etc. I love doing it! It helps a lot without me having to constantly remind them of the steps individually and saves a lot of time. It also helps them be very independent in the art room, really familiarizing them with find your smock, grab a paintbrush, paint so-and-so, wash the brush, glue this down, etc.

  • Sunnylee Mowery

    Loved watching this video tutorial! Inspired by this post, I put my own spin on this and made a PECS system big enough that the entire class could view it. During my demo, two students are in charge of finding the right cards and sequencing them on our “Today’s Directions” board. I couldn’t find a PECS set that included all of my exact art room procedures so I painted one myself. You can check it out, by visiting my blog.

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