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10 Sequencing Picture Books for Elementary Teachers

A highly effective way to teach sequencing to elementary students is to read aloud a picture book that lends itself to teaching this reading strategy. Reading aloud a picture book facilitates a learning experience where you can model how to use sequencing to better understand the text and engage students in their learning by asking related questions. Below is a list of 10 picture books for teaching sequencing. Check out the full list, as well as the teaching resources that go with them!

10 Sequencing Picture Books

Below are 10 picture books for teaching elementary students sequencing.

1. Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey

Hally Tosis is a dog who has very smelly breath. Everyone walks on the other side of the street when Hally is outside, and even skunks avoid her. The real trouble starts for Hally when she jumps up on Grandma Tosis, and Grandma passes out from the stink. Things change for Hally when her breath helps capture burglars when they try to break into her house. Hally becomes a hero and her family decides to keep her despite her stink. This story has a very clear sequence of events that supports the plot and solution when it comes to Hally and her breath. Check out these Dog Breath activities!

Dog Breath book cover and activityEraser activity

2. Eraser by Anna Kang

Everyone is jealous of Pencil- especially Eraser. Pencil and his friends are thought of as the cool and creative ones. One day, Eraser learns that she is the reason people get second chances because she helps people fix their mistakes. This meaningful story has a clear sequence that students will love from beginning, middle, to end! Check out these Eraser activities!

3. Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Pena

It is Carmela’s birthday- finally! She scooters past the workers in the field. She knows why today is extra special! She is old enough to now do errands with her brother, but quickly misses her family. Her brother teaches her that she can make a wish when she finds a dandelion. She holds this special weed close, until she falls off of her scooter. Feeling sad and frustrated, Carmela’s brother brings her up to a special place. Can you guess what the field was filled with? Students will be able to categorize events in this story with transitional words when they share the sequence of this story! Check out these Carmela Full of Wishes activities!

Carmela Full of Wishes book coverCorduroy book cover

4. Corduroy by Don Freeman 

Corduroy is a bear that lives in the toy department of a store. Each day, he hopes that someone is going to take him home. One day, a little girl stops by to look at Corduroy. While she wants to take the bear home, her mother said she had already spent too much money in the store. She also said Corduroy did not look new because he was missing a button. As Corduroy goes on an adventure to find his button, students can sequence the events throughout the story. Check out these Corduroy activities!

5. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall

In a small village lived a young girl named Goldilocks, and one day she was sent to buy muffins in the next village over. Well, Goldilocks ventured into a house, unknowingly the house of the three bears. She tried their porridges, sat in their rocking chairs, and even laid in their beds! This classic fairytale provides students with opportunities to sequence story events in order to get to the end- when Goldilocks jumps out the window! Check out these Goldilocks and the Three Bears activities!

goldilocks and the three bears book and activityIslandborn writing activity

6. Islandborn by Junot Díaz

Lola and her classmates were all born somewhere else. Their teacher gives them an assignment to draw a picture of the country they are originally from. Everyone in the class is excited to share stories about where they are from, except Lola. She left the island when she was just a baby so she does not remember it. With the help of her family and neighbors, Lola is finally ready to start her drawing, but she ends up creating a whole book of drawings. The next day Lola brings her drawings to school. She explains to her class that although she doesn’t remember the island, it is still part of her. Check out these Islandborn activities!

7. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

In this story, Trixie and her father have to run to the laundromat, and she brings her favorite stuffed animal, Knuffle Bunny. As they walk home, Trixie begins to cry as she realizes that Knuffle Bunny is missing. When they arrive home, Trixie’s mother asks where Knuffle Bunny is and her father finally realizes why she was so upset. The family runs back to the laundromat and looks everywhere for the stuffed animal. When they find it, Trixie is so excited she says her first words, Knuffle Bunny! Sequencing this story can be a fun way for students to use transitional words and understand why Trixie is upset, and how her problem was solved! Check out these Knuffle Bunny activities!

Otis book cover

8. Otis by Loren Long 

Otis is a tractor that lives on the farm. He spends his days working in the fields with the farmer. One day, the farmer brings a new baby calf into the barn. At night, she cries for her mother. When the calf hears the gentle purr of Otis’ engine, she is able to calm down and fall asleep. From that day on Otis and the calf were best friends. Students will enjoy sequencing the story between Otis and the animals as he solves problems across the farm! Check out these Otis activities!

9. Spork by Kyo Maclear

Spork was different from all of the other cutlery in his kitchen. He was part fork and park spoon. It was very unusual for cutlery to be mixed like Spork was, and he had a hard time fitting in. One day, the “messy eater” arrived and made a mess of the kitchen despite the spoons and forks efforts. Spork realized the messy easter needed something that could scoop and poke, something flexible and easy to hold. When Spork presented himself to the baby, he realized he had finally found his place at the table. This fun story can easily be sequenced to support Spork’s journey into finding his place in the kitchen! Check out these Spork activities!

Spork book coverThe Little Engine that Could book cover

10. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

A red train breaks down on a mountain, and the toys and dolls ask passing engines to help them and pull them to the other side of the mountain but the trains say no. The toys and dolls do not give up and they ask a Little Blue Engine if she can pull them. The Little Blue Engine says that she has never done that before but agrees to try to pull them and repeats “I think I can, I think I can” while doing it. She is able to pull the food, toys and dolls to the boys and girls on the other side of the mountain. This story allows students to sequence events from the beginning, middle, and end to get to a resolution of the Little Blue Engine successfully towing the toys! Check out these The Little Engine that Could activities!

In closing, we hope you found this list of sequencing picture books helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts:

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