Sequencing is an important skill, as I referenced in my lesson Event Sequencing. I'm reviewing it because everyday of our lives we decide what order we need to do tasks and activities so things will work out, and I want students to make the connection. Regarding reading, the benefits are immense. Students must hone this skill in order to comprehend what they've read to summarize, and to successfully understand the author's purpose, they must be able to organize the individual parts into a comprehensive whole. In this lesson I am helping them identify the beginning, middle and end of an event.
I begin this lesson with a basic, yet effective, activity. The kids write five sentences about their own life that include a mix of their ages and years when the events occured. They cut them into strips and give them to another student at their table to sequence correctly. Here is an example of sequencing a partner's strips. After the strip orders have been verified by the student they're about, the student who ordered them writes the five sentences into a short paragraph writing it with appropriate time-order. Here is an example of using strips to write partner paragraphs. This warm up is a simple way for them to sequence the order of events and write a mini-biography using transition words.
I post common transition words on Smart Board, such as first, second, prior to, thereafter, finally, etc. for students to use as they write. This is a helpful reminder. I have three sections (noted in different colors) so the kids can see the progression of good word choice, even in transitional words.
Here is a kizoa video of the activity- unmute at bottom left - if you click on slideshow it takes you to kizoa.
This Smart Board lesson Reviewing Sequencing Events Smart Board is an excellent way to review the sequencing activities the students have been working with. (Here is a Smart Board Application Review.) They have the opportunity to practice beginning/middle/end of an event, and look for transition or time order words using the plot of a favorite movie or book in a graphic organizer. Once they've completed this together on the Smart Board, I remind them they've just sequenced their material. In the case of our class, they voted to use the plot of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, a book and current movie. Here is Another Smart Board Sequence Review.
In addition to completing a Flow Chart based on the informational text in the Smart Board Application lesson (Students cleaning up the park to have a picnic,) they put events about the same text onto a Timeline. The expectation for what they're learning and practicing with these graphic organizers is showing different ways to express sequencing. The Flow Chart is a nice way to display the information about the Class Picnic in logical order. It shows more steps. With the Timeline, they are condensing the data into only three sections: Beginning, middle, and end. There isn't as much detail, but the sequencing is understood. Each of the activities supports what has been previously taught and solidified in class.
The students have the opportunity to share their paragraphs with the class. It's fun to listen to how they used the Transitional Words from the second two sections from the Smart Board lists. They instantly see how engaging the paragraph sounds with the better word choice. They're instructed to use: first, second, third, next, last only one time throughout the paragraph, but many choose not to use them at all. Small victory! Here are Completed Partner Sequenced Paragraphs.
Using an informational text, the students demonstrate understanding of sequencing as they put the steps into order. I use the worksheet Joining Sentences as a homework assignment or during another class period because it takes quite awhile. There is not an answer key included with this resource, although in an earlier download, there was. As far as I'm concerned, it's no matter. As I read the "correct" order to my students, I found the answers to be subjective, and the kids had their own (valid) opinions about that order. Here is a Student Example of Sequence and Joined Paragraph. Although subjective, this homework assignment is a valuable one. The kids REALLY have to think about the informational text they read and make logical decisions on sequencing. I actually think that it was better not to have a definitive "right" answer. Listening to the kids defend their sequence order was a bonus lesson in itself!