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Same vs. Different – Easy to Make Materials for Language Therapy

Matching CardsA foundation for many goals is an established concept of “same” vs. “different”.  It is nearly impossible to work on concepts such as colors, shapes, or comparatives without the child having first learned “same” and “different”.  If you find yourself working on these, here is an easy way to make some picture cards.


Making the cards

Grab some index cards and some stickers, making sure most of the stickers have an identical match.  Cut the index cards in half.  Place one sticker on each index card half.  It is helpful if the stickers are varied in theme and/or style (e.g., not all underwater animals).


Using the cards

When working receptively with the cards, start with matching ones and ask, “Are these the same?”  If the child answers correctly, give positive feedback.  If the child answers incorrectly or not at all, model, “Yes, these are the same.” Then say what the pictures are while pointing to them.  For example, say, “Fish.  Fish.  They are the same.”  After a few matching pairs, hold up two cards that do not match and ask, “Are these the same?”  If the child answers incorrectly, model, “No.  These are not the same.”  Then you can label the pictures while pointing them and say something like, “Fish.  Car.  These are not the same.  These are different.”

Once the child has the concept of “same” vs. “different” (or “not the same”), you can work on having the child expressively tell you if two pictures are the same or different.  Hold up two cards and give an open ended sentence such as, “These pictures are ___.”


After the child has mastered this concept, teaching other basic language concepts such as color, shape, size, or quantity will be much easier.

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