Makin' It Real

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SWBAT sequence events from the story and retell the story using the main events in order.

Big Idea

School isn't always what we expect it to be!

Prepare the learner

15 minutes

Text to World Connection

I ask:  What are some things we do before go to school.  (give students think time)  Annabelle practiced her colors, her name and ate breakfast before she went to school.  What do you do before you go to school?  (I take student responses)


I zoom in: One of the things a lot of you said you do is brush your teeth.  Who brushes their teeth before school?  I know I do!  


I prompt: Think about what you do when you brush your teeth.  What steps do you take from start to finish?  Today we are going to talk about those steps and sequence them, just like we sequence events in stories!  We have practiced sequencing story events, now we are going to sequence real events for something we do every day before school!



We watch this fun video about how we go to school.  I love this video because the song is manageable fo the students.  The pictures directly support the words in the song so that kids can sing along quickly!  My favorite part?  It directly addresses seequencing and is a great springboard into our activities for the day!


Interact with text/concept

30 minutes

Sequence with enlarged events in pocket chart

I enlarge the events of the story so that the whole class can do this sequencing activity together.  I use four events to up the rigor just a bit from the three events we've been using.

I like to do this in a pocket chart, but a chalk board ledge works well too.  Before we begin, I read each of the sentences on each event to the students.  I want to make sure that they know what each illustration signifies.



I say:  Today we are going to sequence something we do BEFORE we come to school.  What are we sequencing today?  (brushing teeth)

I say: Now, let’s look at the events we have here.  What do we do first when we are brushing our teeth?   You can take volunteers or pull a name stick and have a student come up to the pocket chart to identify the first event of the story.  If they do not know, I choose another student.  When they pick the correct one, I help them to place it right next to the title in the pocket chart.

I follow that same pattern until all of the events are placed in order after the title. 




After all of the events have been placed, we ‘reread’ the events.  I say: Boys and girls, this fast way of telling a story is called a "retell/summary."  A retell/summary is when we tell the story with the main events.  Let's read the title.  We read the title together.

I prompt: Listen as I tell about this FIRST event  Remember, start your sentence with "first" and then continue telling me about the first event.  We don't even have to use the sentences on the cards.  You can 'read' the picture to me and use your own words for the event!

I prompt: Who can now tell me about this SECOND event?  Remember, start your sentence with "second' because you are talking about the second event.  I choose a volunteer and coach them through the event,  if necessary.


I follow the same pattern until all events have been 'read.'




Sequence/Guided Retell


Retelling is a key kindergarten skill that lays the foundation for summarizing in the upper elementary and later grades.  I use picture support to give my second language learners and concrete reference that also prompts language.  It also gives me the opportunity to clarify and reteach, if necessary.





Extend Understanding

20 minutes

Our Day

We are going to sequence our school day.  (This particular student is struggling to even copy words, so I wrote the words for the pictures and the student traced them) I do this so that kids make the connection between the skill and its use in real life...this makes it meaningful!  It also addresses the "College and Career" readiness that Common Core talks about... but at a kindergarten level!


Because the topic is meaningful and familiar, I like to have the kids draw their pictures  rather than cut and paste.  I simply fold a regular piece of paper into 4 squares (or  a long strip of paper so the progression of events is left to right, with no return sweep)  We then number each section 1-4.


 I say:  Boys and girls, what do we do first thing in the morning when we get to school?  Kids may start with ‘line up on the playground’ or they may start with when they walk in the classroom door.  Either is fine.  I let the kids drive the events and discussion.


I say:   That’s right!  We line up on the playground.  Let’s draw a us in a line in box 1 .  I model for the kids how they can quickly sketch a picture in box 1. 


I stress that this is a ‘sketch’ with pencil and that is a fast picture.  I continue in this format until all boxes are filled or we cover our day from beginning to end.  If there is time, I let students color their pictures.


I prompt: Let's read off of our map!  Who can tell me what we do FIRST when we come to school?  Remember to start your sentence with 'First.'

I follow this same prompt for each of our events.

Here's more about it!


Differentiation Suggestion

For lower classes you could keep it to three events.  For more capable groups, you could increase the number of events.  You can really tailor it to meet the needs of your students!