Introduction to Sequencing

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SWBAT identify the beginning, middle, and end of a story by utilizing an on-line interactive sequencing game.

Big Idea

Use games and simple exercises to make learning more interesting and memorable.


Common Core Connection:

For First Grade teachers, reading is what we teach.  It is what we do.  As educators we know that teaching reading is not just letter sounds blended together.  Reading goes beyond word recognition.  Comprehension and fluency are two of the main goals of teaching reading.  That is why at the beginning of the learning to read process we start teaching students to sequence.  Through RL.1.2: retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson, students are introduced to the most basic level of sequencing; however, the skill is also among the most important steps to becoming College and Career ready. 

Also by this time in most students' lives they are fairly familiar with technology.  In this lesson CCRA.R.7: integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words, was used to further teach students how to listen to and apply sequencing skills.

Lesson Overview:

In this first lesson on sequencing I introduced my students to the terms beginning, middle, and end, as well as how to identify those stages of a story.  I also introduced them to an interactive on-line game to help further develop their abilities of hearing what sequenced order sounded like.


  • Houghton Mifflin Reading Theme 1: All Together Now, I Am Six, by Ann Morris
  • Tina’s Bug Game


5 minutes

To introduce the concept of sequence I explained to my class that sequence is what happens in order from the beginning to the end.  This being the first week of our reading ELA program I knew students would need a lot of examples and scaffolding (Introducing "I Am Six").  I began by counting 1 through 5 and asked my students what number comes next. Nearly all of them answered “six”.  I told them, “That is correct,” and explained they knew that from practice counting so they already knew what would come next.  I then explained that in reading stories have a beginning, middle, and an end.  Being able to retell these parts of the story would help them better understand what they were reading.

Guided Practice

15 minutes

At this point I introduce the big book story I Am Six.  After reading the title I give my students think and partner share time to answer my question: "What do you think this story is going to be about?"   Using the magic cup (Demonstration: Magic Cup), I choose one partner pair to give their answer to that question. 

These two students shared that the story was going to about children who are six years old.  As this children shared, nearly all of the rest of the class agreed by showing me a thumb up (Demonstration: Thumb Up, Thumb Down).  "Let’s find out," I replied. 

I then begin to read the story.  I stopped after the first 4 pages and asked my students what was happening in the beginning of this story.  After a little prompting (because it is new to them), I pointed out that so far all the children in the story were six years old.  I then read the middle part of the story and asked my students what was now happening in the story.  To help my students I re-showed the pictures on pages 12 to 23 restating the activities the children on those pages were doing, explaining that they could use picture clues to help them tell what happening when they were trying to retell.  I also explained that when they are sequencing they do not have to repeat all the written words, just say what happened in their own words using the details that they remember.  After I read the last page I asked my students, "how did the story end?"  This time most of them are able to answer: the story ends with all the children sitting on the slide.

When I finished reading I re-stated that the sequence of a story is the beginning, middle and end, and that knowing these parts helps them to better understand what they have read.

 At this point we moved into our collaborative activity.

Collaborative Activity

15 minutes

In today’s activity I had my students play a game (Games as a Teaching Tool) to further help them listen to sequence order.

In this whole group activity my students played Tina’s Bug Game, which is a following the directions in order game.  To give as many students as possible the opportunity to work the computer, we played this game twice.  Before we started playing, I reminded my students that the important part of sequencing was to know the order that a story happens in so that it makes sense.  I used the magic cup to select a student to click the button/mouse at the beginning of each of Tina’s directions.  As ‘Tina’ gave the directions, I had my students hold up 1 finger for the first direction and say, beginning.  They held up 2 fingers for the next direction and said middle.  Each time the third direction was given they held up three fingers and said last.  I had my students do this because I wanted them to start thinking about and using those sequence words later in the unit when they started sequencing stories.

When we finished playing Tina’s Bug Game we moved into our independent practice block.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

During this time of our day my students are in their leveled reading groups where every 15 to 20 minutes they rotate through different activities.  One activity in this rotation is journal writing.  I use journal writing because it gives my students practice writing independently and helps them remember what they have learned and practice in the guided practice and collaborative activity.   The journal prompt I put on the Promethean board: Sequencing means to ___ the story in ____.  The three parts of sequencing are the ___, ___, and the ___.

As each group rotated to my differentiated reading group I did a quick check of each student’s journal to make sure it was complete, correct, and had the correct writing conventions.

Ticket Out the Door

5 minutes

For a sticker my students told me why knowing the order of a story is important.