I ask the class if they know what chronological order means. I get some very creative responses and realize we need to define it first. Instead of having them help me I give them the definition by giving examples. I start by mixing up the order in which most people brush their teeth. They giggle and I ask what the problem is. They tell me that I said it wrong so I ask them to explain where I went wrong. I do this again, once with the correct order for getting dressed and the other the in the wrong order for pouring cereal.
The class corrects the order of the breakfast story. I tell them that the order in which we do things is chronological order.
I hand out a flow chart and ask them to turn it over on the back. The back is blank and I ask them to number it 1-5. I then ask them to try to think of something that they do almost everyday and to put it in order. I give them time to do this and remind them to only come up with five steps to do the task.
They then can share the steps they wrote with their elbow partner. I then call on a few students who want to share their steps with the whole class.
Now that they have a good idea of what this order looks like, I explain that an author will use chronological order to set up the text to help tell a story. This chronological order can help tell a story and we need to be able to determine this because it can help us understand more of the story.
I then write the words: first, then, next, last, before, now, and finally on the board. I explain how we use these words to help tell chronological order. They are transitional words and they are the first hint to the reader that they are going to use chronological order. This can be very important to knowing the details of the story.
I bring out the book, Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin. This book uses dates to put the story in order and is humorous so students can remember most of it to do a retell. I read to them and they get to just sit back and enjoy.
When I finish, I ask them a series of questions and we talk about any that we need to further. Here are the questions I asked:
1. How is the book organized?
2. What is the time span from first to last?
3.How did the author signal the change from one event to another?
4.What do all of the events explain?
5. How did chronological order help us understand the story?
6. What if the author did not use chronological order?
The discussion leads us to the transition words. I make up an example of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with and without transitional words. I ask if they think they can write a summary of Diary of a Spider. The author used a few transitional words in the story. We are going to retell the whole book but use transition words to retell it.
They now flip over the flow chart. It already contains the transitional words and they just need to add the sentences that contain the details from the story. To help I show the pages of the story to jog their memory, but I do not reread the story. They then add their sentences in order to the flow chart. On the chart attached, I would have students choose others words instead of all the boxes that say Next.