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Why Sequencing?

We put stuff in order all the time. Chronological order, numerical order, alphabetical order. We use order of steps for driving directions, recipes, processes and routines. Sometimes performing a task using the correct order of steps is crucial to success. Sequencing aids us in carrying out tasks, but also in organization of information.

Understanding the order and sequence of events helps for process, helps for understanding cause and effect, story structure, identifying patterns, and also learning the development of events that lead up to other events. We need to be able to retell stories and extract the main ideas into a summary.

Sequencing Activities

Timelines for historical events are extremely helpful and shows a variety of factors: causal events, effects of major events, progression or evolution of a topic. You can read more about timelines in our Timeline layout article or in the helpful hints about Storyboard That as a Timeline Maker. Timelines are usually used for history or biographies, but don’t let that common use limit your creativity!

  • Create a timeline for your current social studies or history unit.

  • Make a visual schedule for a period of time, or a First Then Board for two or three events. Seeing the sequence of events in order visually can be very important for student comprehension.

  • Challenge students to create simple or complex number or shape patterns. Use the slideshow feature to show the pattern as it grows.

  • Practice sequence words with “How to…” Instructions. Students can show the order of steps for a procedure in a timeline or with the traditional layout. Have students make their own “How to” stories, or make a storyboard for them to unscramble!

Summarizing Activities

A large part of English Language Arts is understanding the plot arc of a story. Sometimes students get bogged down with subplots or details and have a hard time writing a concise summary or can't process all the information.

  • Use the plot diagram to isolate events. The plot diagram is an excellent strategy for making sure students extract the most important parts of the story that drive the overarching plot.

  • Sometimes novels can be quite long and it is difficult to keep track of everything that happens. The Chapter Recap is a great way to show the main events of a chapter or section by breaking up the story into smaller pieces. Make a cell of a Chapter Recap storyboard after reading each chapter. The storyboard will help students recall information from earlier in the book.

  • Big ideas need to be summarized too! Create a storyboard that breaks up a big topic, like finding common denominators, into more manageable pieces.

Story Writing Activities

The order of events is crucial for planning a story. Make a storyboard to plan out a larger narrative, or create your own short story in the style of a comic. You can create visual stories for all kinds of things:

  • original fictional narrative
  • autobiographical narrative
  • historical narrative
  • hypothetical story to discuss/plan for a potential outcome or a role-playing scenario
  • original take on a classic

Make Sequencing Worksheets!

If you're looking for another step or an alternative assignment, you can create a variety of different worksheets, including BME worksheets or plot diagram worksheets to use in your class! These worksheets can be customized and printed out for students to fill out with a pencil, or they can be completed in the Storyboard Creator like a digital worksheet. You can even create multiple versions for those students who might need a little extra help, and keep them on hand for future use! Find plenty of templates to work from or just start with a blank canvas.

Related Activities

Check out these sequencing activities from our guides on The One-Eyed Giant, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and Zlateh the Goat.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sequences, Summaries, and Stories

How does combining sequencing, summarizing, and storytelling activities enhance students' comprehension skills?

Combining sequencing, summarizing, and storytelling activities enhances students' comprehension skills in several ways. Firstly, sequencing activities help students to identify the order of events and better understand the plot of a story. Summarizing activities require students to distill complex information into a concise summary, helping them to identify the main ideas and important details. Storytelling activities provide an opportunity for students to express their understanding of a text in their own words, promoting deeper engagement and comprehension.

How can teachers use sequencing, summarizing, and storytelling activities to promote critical thinking skills?

Teachers can use these activities to challenge students to analyze information, make inferences, and draw conclusions. For example, students can sequence events from a story and then discuss the cause-and-effect relationships between them.

Can sequencing, summarizing, and storytelling activities be adapted for different learning styles?

Yes, teachers can adapt these activities for different learning styles by providing visual aids, graphic organizers, and opportunities for collaborative work. For example, students who prefer visual learning can benefit from using a storyboard to sequence events, while students who prefer auditory learning can benefit from discussing the story with their peers.

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