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How to Teach Sequencing to Elementary Students in 2022

Sequencing is an important reading comprehension strategy for elementary students to become proficient in. It helps readers better understand and enjoy stories they read and listen to. Sequencing refers to the ability to recall and remember the facts or events of a story in order. When students are sequencing they are retelling the events from a text in the order that they occurred. This allows them to make sense of the events of a story. Learn all about how to teach sequencing below!

What is Sequencing?

Sequencing refers to the ability to recall and remember the facts or events of a story in order. When students are sequencing they are retelling the events from a text in the order that they occurred. This allows them to make sense of the events of a story.

The goal of sequencing is for students to be able to identify the parts of a story, basically to retell the beginning, middle and end of what they read. When they do this, they are breaking down the events and details of a book into small parts and putting them in order. 

This reading strategy is one that people use in their daily lives as well. People use sequencing to plan out their day and complete a task. Being able to sequence is an important part of problem solving across all subject areas. 

Why Is Sequencing an Important Comprehension Strategy?

Sequencing is an important reading strategy for students of all ages. In fact, children begin learning sequencing skills at a very early age. This skill helps them to organize information and ideas in an effective way. By sequencing events, students are able to recall a text more easily. This is because they are thinking of it in pieces rather than considering the entire story.

When students are able to sequence a story, they are able to comprehend text more easily. This is because they observe the order in which information is presented and are able to recall it later. 

Students build on their sequencing skills as they get older and it becomes particularly important in content area literacy. They use these skills across academic areas including math, science, and social studies. Sequencing allows students to recognize patterns, determine cause and effect, understand story structure and strengthen their writing skills. 

Teaching Standards for Sequencing

Standards for this reading comprehension topic include…

CCSS

  • RL.1.2 – Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
  • RL.2.2 – Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
  • RL.3.2 – Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
  • RL.4.2 – Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
  • RL.5.2 – Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

TEKS

  • Grade 1
    • ELA.1.6.G – The student is expected to evaluate details to determine what is most important with adult assistance
    • ELA.1.7.D – The student is expected to retell texts in ways that maintain meaning
    • ELA.1.8.A – The student is expected to discuss topics and determine theme using text evidence with adult assistance
  • Grade 2
    • ELA.2.6.G – The student is expected to evaluate details read to determine key ideas
    • ELA.2.7.D – The student is expected to retell and paraphrase texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order
    • ELA.2.8.A – The student is expected to discuss topics and determine theme using text evidence with adult assistance
  • Grade 3
    • ELA.3.6.G – The student is expected to evaluate details read to determine key ideas
    • ELA.3.7.D – The student is expected to retell and paraphrase texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order
    • ELA.3.8.A – The student is expected to infer the theme of a work, distinguishing theme from topic
  • Grade 4
    • ELA.4.6.G – The student is expected to evaluate details read to determine key ideas
    • ELA.4.7.D – The student is expected to retell, paraphrase, or summarize texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order
    • ELA.4.8.A – The student is expected to infer basic themes supported by text evidence
  • Grade 5
    • ELA.5.6.G – The student is expected to evaluate details read to determine key ideas
    • ELA.5.7.D – The student is expected to retell, paraphrase, or summarize texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order
    • ELA.5.8.A – The student is expected to infer multiple themes within a text using text evidence

3 Tips for Teaching Students about Sequencing

Below are suggestions for when you’re teaching your students to sequence events when reading.

1. Read Aloud Picture Books

Reading aloud picture books is a great way to model and practice this reading comprehension strategy. There are tons of great read alouds for teaching students about sequencing events in books. Some high-quality examples include Dog Breath, Eraser, The Panda Problem, Alfie, and The Teacher From the Black Lagoon.

2. Make Anchor Charts

Anchor charts are another great way to teach students about sequencing in children’s books. My sequencing resource includes an interactive anchor chart that successfully engages students in their learning and provides a visual learning experience for students to learn about sequencing events.

3. Use Videos

The third on the list of tips for teaching students to sequence events is playing videos. This is another great visual learning opportunity for students to learn about what can feel like a very abstract idea. Below are a couple of examples of videos that are great for teaching students how to sequence events in picture books.

Sequencing Resources

These printable and digital resources for teaching elementary students about sequencing make curriculum and lesson planning quick and easy. It includes teacher, parent, and student resources, so you’ll have everything you need to deliver meaningful research-based instruction rooted in current best practices. 

sequencing teaching resourcereading comprehension strategies teaching resource

What is Included

1. Teacher Resources

There are teacher notes about the strategy, teaching ideas, a planning page with question prompts, and list of mentor texts, so you have all of the information you need to plan a research and standards-based reading unit based on this reading comprehension strategy.

2. Parent Resources

There is a parent letter and a reading log with suggested question prompts so parents can confidently support and reinforce the strategy you are teaching with their children at home.

3. Instructional Resources

There are printables to create a large anchor chart and reference charts. Both save you lots of time searching for anchor chart ideas and supplemental teaching tools.

4. Student Resources

There are 3 printables and 2 activities for students that provide meaningful opportunities to practice and make sense of the reading strategy in a fun and engaging way.

5. Digital Resources

There are digital versions of several of the resources so students can access them in school or at home using a technology device of their choice.

Why Teachers Love this Resource

  1. This collection of resources is versatile. Teachers can use it on it’s own or they can use it to supplement any reading curriculum. You will be able to continue to use these resources if your school adopts a new reading program or you switch school districts.
  2. This resource is part of a larger collection of reading strategy products, so you can provide a consistent instructional approach that your students quickly learn and understand the expectations and routines for. Learn more about this collection here!
  3. It’s a huge time saver! Instead of hunting for background information on a reading strategy and then searching for resources to teach the strategy, this comprehensive resource includes all of the information and resources you need to teach a whole unit on this reading strategy.
  4. The student activities are a lot of fun for students. This helps create a productive learning environment where students are engaged and learning!
  5. It includes resources that provide a great way to create a home-school connection with students’ families and support parents/guardians in continuing student learning at home.

In closing, we hope you found this post about how to teach sequencing helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in this other post about elementary reading comprehension strategies.

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