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Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Order of Things: Can Your Students Sequence?

       Being able to sequence events and actions is an extremely important skill.  Sequencing is needed to complete the steps of a task, to give directions (and follow them), to tell about an event, retell a story, have a conversation (which is its own unique sequence).   
When we’re talking about reading, we’re talking about sequencing the events in the story.  Being able to identify what happened first. What happened next. What happened last?  How did it end?  There is a lot involved with this.  Understanding serial order.  Moving left to right or up to down. 
Again, before reading the story, we want to activate the background knowledge the student has about sequencing things.  I start with relatively simple sequences such as parts of their day, or the steps to a familiar task (hand washing is always a good one to use).  Then I set the purpose for reading: listen for what happened first.  What did the character do next (Or, what happened to the character next)?  What happened last?  We’ll talk about it as we read.  I’ll point out the order of events as we read.  Then, the “After” activity will be about sequencing the events of the story.

I’ve posted here a simple sequence of events in the story The Snowy Day, by Jack Ezra Keats as an example.  This is one of three different sequencing activities I use in my resource for this book. (symbols are Symbol Stix from

        Keep working and keep reading, step by step.

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