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Great Ideas for Teaching Sequence

Ideas for Teaching Sequence in your upper elementary classroom

The ability to sequence is such an important skill in comprehending narrative texts. Sequencing, or the ordering of events from a story, may seem like a simple task on the surface, but often when young readers are asked to retell a story, they may begin with the end of the story or may simply tell their favorite part. Sequencing is one of the basic skills that we may assume our students have mastered, but many fourth  graders still struggle with this skill.  Here are some great ideas for teaching sequence to your students.

 
After a model lesson and charting the beginning, middle, and end of a story, using read-alouds or mentor texts and graphic organizers are a great way to help students practice organizing and keeping track of important events in a story. There are many excellent picture books that work well with this skill, but these are a few of my personal favorites.

 
 
 
Duck on a Bike– This fun book is sure to make your students smile! Duck has a wild idea to ride a bike, and when she does, she gets everyone’s attention on the farm! This simple storyline makes this book a great choice to use with sequencing, and it is great to pair with my How the Story Grows graphic organizer. 
 

 

Three Billy Goats Fluff is a fun twist on the traditional story of the three billy goats. The bright illustrations are one of my favorite features of this colorful book, and the simplicity of this storyline makes it a great choice for students who may be struggling with sequencing. Pair this story with my First, Next, Then, Last Sequence organizer.

 
 
 

Three Hens and a Peacock is a story that your students will enjoy! Everything is ordinary on the farm until the peacock shows up. The hens soon become jealous of all of the attention that the peacock is getting. After deciding to trade roles, the animals quickly learn how hard it is to do someone else’s job. 

 
 

Many teachers may introduce sequencing at the beginning of the year, so why not extend your lesson to include sequence? Many of the “back to school” picture books are great to use for sequencing, for example, Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun is a great book to pair with my Road Signs to Sequence organizer. 

 
Saturdays and Teacakes is one of my personal favorites. This story is such a sweet reflection of the author’s childhood and the Saturdays that he spent with his grandmother. The simplicity of events makes it a great choice for students to practice sequencing. 
 

 

Graphic Organizers

Find these as well as over 190 other graphic organizers in my newly updated Reading Graphic Organizers for Reading Literature.  Now updated with a fresh, new look! This ultimate set of graphic organizers now contains updated graphics, fonts, and new designs. Help your students think deeply about their reading while practicing a variety of reading strategies and skills with this best-selling set of printable graphic organizers. 
 

 

Other Activities for Sequencing

After completing one of the graphic organizers on sequencing, why not extend the activity to include an oral presentation of the sequence of events? Students, of course, could share with a partner, or if you use Flipgrid (I am not affiliated with Flipgrid or being paid to promote),  have your students record themselves sharing the sequence of events. Then share some of the best presentations with the class, or allow groups of students to view one another’s presentations and discuss the events presented. 
 
For another activity, all you need are white paper plates. Give each student a paper plate. Students use a ruler to draw one line vertically in the center circle of the plate and one line horizontally, creating four equal sections. In the first section, students write the name of the story, the author, and draw a picture. Students label each of the other three sections, “beginning, middle, and end.” Then students write about each part of the story in that section. These are great to hang on a bulletin board or in the hallway. Simply using an unexpected item like a paper plate can create a little excitement in your classroom. 
 

 
 
For even another fun activity for sequencing, be sure to visit this BLOG POST.
 
Thanks for stopping by, and have a very blessed day!
 
 

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