image of 5 toy bees and a hive with the caption, structured teaching: a simple bee activity, learn with emily dot com

Structured Teaching: A Simple Bee Activity

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Structured teaching tasks are designed to add visual clarity to a task. Toys that are already owned can be utilized in simple put-in activities. Appropriate toys can also be purchased for this purpose. Toys are appropriate for early learning structured activities, particularly for children who have limited play skills. This Simple Bee Activity is an example of structured teaching.

Learning objectives:


Visual structure of the bee activity:

Bee toy with bees lined up to the left of the boxThe beehive and bees are placed in a flat box. An empty egg carton is used to old the beBee toy with 5 bees lined up in front of the hivees either on the left side of the activity box.

The activity could also be set up so the bees are lined up in front and then put in the hive in back.


The student will use 1-to-1 correspondence to take the bees, one at a time, and place them within the hive. The process can be modeled by the teacher live, or through a video model (see below).

Video modeling can also be used to demonstrate a structured activity. The video model does not need to be complex. In this demonstration, I use point-of-view modeling to show the steps required to complete this activity.

Expand the activity for generalization

Once a task has be mastered (can be completed by the child independently), additional activities can be created with the same toy. Using a variety of of learning objectives with the same toy is one way to promote generalization. The bees in this set could also be used for a counting task or play sequence. An activity schedule that included actions for the each bee would be one way to support play skills.

For further reading, consider the following book which contains photographs of structured teaching tasks:


Partington, J. W. (2010). The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills: An assessment, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system for children with autism or other developmental disabilities. Pleasant Hill, CA: Behavior Analysts, Inc.

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