Understanding the sequence of events in a story is a critical literacy skill for young learners. This skill starts to develop in preschool, but gets much more sophisticated in early elementary school. Specifically designed sequencing activities for kindergarten and first grade students can help hone those skills.
While a preschool student might not be able to read or write sentences, they can generally begin to tell you the order in which events happen. For example, “We had breakfast. We got dressed. We went to the store.”
Sequencing for Kindergarten
A kindergartner will be able to properly sequence events and may be able to write about them. Kindergarten is really tricky though because some kindergartners start the year reading and writing and others still haven’t developed those skills.
When you practice sequencing of events with your kindergartner, understand there’s a wide range of “normal” skill here. (In other words, if it doesn’t seem to be going well, don’t panic.)
Sequencing for First Grade
First graders should be able to properly sequence events in a story and write about them. Again though, the level of detail a first grader uses in their writing and retelling will depend on both their individual abilities and the particular point in the school year.
First grade students should definitely begin to use appropriate sequencing words in their writing. For example, a first grader can reasonably be expected to begin their sentences with “First,” “Next,” or “Last,” to properly mark the order of events.
As first grade students advance, they will be ready to move beyond three basic events. Words like “Then,” “After That,” or “Finally,” can also be incorporated into their sequencing descriptions.
[My son’s first-grade teacher emphasizes the concept of a five-finger retell. Each finger on the hand represents a different part of the story sequence. First (thumb), next (index finger), then (middle finger), after that (ring finger) and finally (pinky). This five-finger strategy gives students a visual reminder of relevant sequencing words.]
Printable Sequencing Activities
A great way to support students in mastering the sequencing of events is with sequencing practice activities. These summer-themed printable sequencing activities are great to use in the kindergarten or first grade classroom at the end of the year or for a summer school activity.
They can also be a great back to school activity because summer events, like swimming, will be very fresh in students mind. If you’re a teacher using this classroom sequencing activity at the beginning of your school year, you can do the entire thing with first grade students and it will give you a pretty good idea of where they stand (a sequencing and writing pre-assessment, if you will).
For kindergartners, I would just have them order the pictures. I wouldn’t include the writing portion at all, because some students will be upset if they are unable to do it. Instead, you can hold back the writing portion to do later in the year, when you have a better sense of your students’ abilities.
You can also use these sequencing printables as a form of differentiation, giving the writing portion only to students you know are ready for it. These sequencing printables can also be used as classroom literacy center activities (just laminate them and have students use dry-erase markers to number them/draw arrows and then write their sentences).
These summer sequencing assignments also make great practice activities for parents to do with their kids at home over the summer. The summer slump is real and anything parents can do to keep their students’ skills sharp over the summer is helpful!
Digital Sequencing Activities to Use on a Device or Online
Of course, sometimes a printable sequencing activity just doesn’t cut it (pun intended, since the printable version includes cut-and-paste fine motor practice!).
With many schools operating in the hybrid model, and even some still doing full distance learning, this digital summer-themed sequencing activity may be preferable. It covers the same sequencing stories and activities as the printable version, but the formatting is very different.
Of course, as so many teachers know, things are constantly changing in schools these days. Trying to make concrete plans over the past year or two has, at times, seemed like an exercise in futility.
If you’d prefer to have access to both the printable and digital versions of these sequencing story activities, they’re also sold in a bundle at a steep discount. This way, you’ll be prepared no matter what your district throws at you!
How to get your copies of the sequencings activities (printable or digital — or both!)
There are two ways you can get these sequencing activities.
1) In my Teachers Pay Teachers store (you’ll need a TPT account, but you can create one for free) or
2) Right here, directly from my website (no account creation necessary), using your credit card or PayPal account.
To get them from Teachers Pay Teachers: Use this link for the printable version, this link for the digital version, or this link for the bundle. TPT also lets you download a longer preview file, so you can see more of the product.
To get them right here on the website, just click the applicable checkout button below for the version of the sequencing activity you’d like.
Click Here to Grab the Printable Version from My Website Shop!
Click Here to Buy the DIGITAL version from my Website Shop!
Click Here to Grab the Printable AND Digital Version BUNDLE from My Website Shop!
As always, if you have any questions about your purchase or need any help with your sequencing activities, you can email me at [email protected]
I hope you enjoy using these sequencing activities with your child at home or your students in the classroom!
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