Close this search box.

Eye Health & Good Vision Message 10

This message and lesson plan is from our Children’s Participation in Eye Health and the Promotion of Good Vision resource book for teachers and educators. Read more about the book and download it now!

Message Ten

Children who cannot see clearly may need an eye test. They may hold a reading book too
close to their faces, squeeze their eyelids together, seem shy, don’t want to play or copy class notes from another book close by.

Learning Objectives

  • Children will know and feel able to share the message on Signs of Vision Problems in School-age Children.
  • Children can describe several signs of vision problems in school-age children.
  • Children have reflected on the session.
  • Children have planned a question to find out if anyone in their family has had an eye test and how they knew they needed one.


If you have a child in your class who wears spectacles or has vision problems, speak to this child (or children) before the class. Children can help with the session by explaining how they found out that they needed an eye test. If they feel confident, they can speak themselves, or they can tell the teachers to tell their story for them. Other children may be able to tell stories about their friends or siblings. If you have time to do the ‘counting fingers test’ in the extension activity, then draw two lines in the classroom along a wall. Draw one line one meter from the wall and the other three meters from this line. This activity can also be done outside.


  1. Introductory activities, e.g. an icebreaker, game or The Memory Line.
  2. Repeat the message in chorus. Add actions to this message to make it more memorable. In pairs or threes, children practice the message. In the whole group say the message out loud with actions.
  3. Ask what the signs of poor vision might be (refer to the message). Explain:

Children who are short-sighted can seem shy and quiet. They might have to sit close to the board or squint their eyes to try to see the board. They may not seem to enjoy playing games outside. They might squeeze their eyes together when they are trying to see something or ask to copy notes from their friend. They might say they get headaches a lot.

  1. Ask all the children to put a hand over one eye and check that they can see clearly. Then put a hand over the other eye and check that they can see as clearly from that eye. Explain:

Sometimes, the vision problem is in only one eye, and the vision problem is only discovered when one eye is covered.

  1. Show the children these three pictures and explain:
Image 1 is sharp; Image 2 is a little out of focus; and Image 3 is very out of focus.

As they get older, most people will begin to have vision problems. Some children have vision problems when they are young. For everyone, their vision problems are different, but this picture can give you an idea of what it can be like when it’s a little blurred and then when it’s very blurred.

  1. Ask the group to discuss these questions:
    • What do you think it feels like if you cannot see clearly?
    • What do you think it is like when you wear spectacles and then you can see clearly?
    • What do you find difficult to do?
  2. If there are children in the class who wear spectacles and who want to tell their story, this is a good time for them to do this.
  3. Optional activity: Counting Fingers Test
    • Get into pairs.
    • One child stands on the line closest to the wall. The other stands three meters away (five to ten steps).
    • The child closest to the wall holds up two or three of their fingers.
    • Their partner tells them how many fingers they can see.
    • Try again with one or four fingers.
    • Make note of the names of children who get this wrong.
    • Children can do this survey with family and friends at home.

Reflection Circle

In a circle, the children say in turn what they learned and enjoyed about this session.

Closing Activity

Repeat the message together and ask those that know it to share with classmates, friends and family. Ask these Good Questions in their families:

Has anyone in our family had an eye test?
(If yes) What were the signs they needed an eye test?

Download Children’s Participation in Eye Health
and the Promotion of Good Vision