Sequencing is the skill that is used when a reader lists the events of a story in the order that they occurred in, from first to last. For a student to fully comprehend a story he or she must be able to organize the events of the story in sequential order. Sequencing of events allows a reader to properly retell a story, which in turn enables a listener to visualize what happened in the text.
Sequencing may sound like a simple skill, but for many primary grade-level students, organizing the events of a story takes practice.
To help students master the skill of sequencing, I use use picture cues, such as images from a book that students can arrange in sequence order. I also provide sentence starters or sequence word prompts such as:
First Second Third Then Next After that Finally
Two of my favorite books for introducing and teaching sequencing are The Mitten with The Hat by Jan Brett. I've used these two classic books so much when teaching sequencing of events that I've created two free sequencing worksheets for kindergarten and grade 1 students!
Here is how I use them...
Sequencing Worksheet: The Mitten by Jan Brett
A great book for introducing and teaching sequencing to young children is The Mitten, by Jan Brett. When Nikki drops his white mitten in the snow, he keeps walking without realizing that it is missing. Woodland animals find it and crawl in one after another. The first visitor is a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger, and other animals, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed into the mitten by a tiny brown mouse. What happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax. As the story of the animals in the mitten unfolds, the reader can see Nikki in the borders of each page, walking through the woods, unaware of what is going on.
Follow-up your reading of The Mitten with The Hat, also by Jan Brett. When Lisa's woolen stocking flies off the clothesline, Hedgie finds it and pushes his nose in. He tries to pull his nose back out, but the stocking gets stuck on his prickles — and the fun begins. A mother hen comes by, then a noisy goose, a talkative barn cat, a playful farm dog, a mama pig and her piglets, and finally a pony. They all laugh at Hedgie, especially when he pretends that he's wearing a new hat. But in the end, it is clever Hedgie who has the last laugh. And where is Lisa while all of this is going on? She's in the page borders, getting ready for winter, until she realizes her stocking is missing and she enters the story to look for it.