Stocking Shelves

By Charlotte Cushman on Jun 30, 2014

Stocking shelves or refilling snack bins is a great way to teach many skills through a single activity.  This activity can be used to work on sorting and matching skills, colors, size, counting, reading, and directionality, as well as motor skills. Differentiated instruction can allow all learners to focus on individual goals during this activity.



  • bags of snack items
  • shelves, bins or display rack for snack items


  1. The student visits the snack area and does an inventory of existing snack items. This may be done by writing down tally marks next to the name of each item to keep track of how many are left.  The inventory can be done in a number of different ways, such as:  a) filling up each bin or shelf, regardless of the number of items already there; b) putting out a set number, such as 15 of each type.  The procedure will depend on which method is being used.  Math skills can be incorporated if there is a set number to be displayed, so that, for example, if there are supposed to be 15 items and there are currently 8, a student can calculate how many additional bags are needed.
  2. Have the student work in systematic left to right, top to bottom progression until all items have been restocked.


For students working on matching skills, snack items can be mixed up in a large bin and the student can match the snack item to what is on the shelf already, so that a particular type of granola bar goes together, a bag of tortilla chips goes with the other tortilla chips, etc.

stocking snacks collage

Read more about: Transition

Total Life Learning by Wendy Bridgeo,‎ Beth Caruso,‎ & Mary Zatta

Cover of Total Life Learning

The Total Life Learning curriculum was developed for students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, visually impaired including those students who have additional disabilities or are deafblind. The focus is on the development of life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.