Sequencing is a very typical skill to practice in elementary school –especially in kindergarten, first, and second grade. At the same time, the fall can be such a busy and exciting time for students (and their teachers and parents). Combining picture sequencing activities with a fall theme is a perfect way to marry the two!
Why teach sequencing at all? Isn’t this a natural skill?
Yes and no.
In general, students will naturally understand the order of events, especially simple ones. Communicating that understanding, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as simple for kids.
Students need to be taught proper words for explaining a sequence. Words like First, Next, and Last have to be explained in context and students need to practice using them.
(And explaining more complicated, longer sequences–with additional steps and words like Then, After that, and Finally, may take even longer to master.)
Plus, sequencing can be even more challenging for students with special needs.
Many speech and occupational therapists use sequencing pictures and story sequencing cards to practice understanding and communicating about daily life.
It’s not just an “academic” exercise. It’s a life skill–one that many adults take for granted.
For kids with executive functioning difficulty, practicing sequencing skills can help them with their planning and independence skills.
Knowing the order in which things happen can also make a huge difference for students who have challenges regulating their emotions. They can understand what is about to happen and better prepare themselves emotionally for the activities or transitions.
All that to say — there’s a lot of reasons why sequencing skills are important.
If you want to read more about that, BrainPop gives a pretty good explanation here. Or you can just take my word for it 🙂
Sequencing picture activities are just one way to practice sequencing.
There’s a lot of ways to practice sequencing besides working with pictures or printables.
One of the most powerful ways to reinforce the order of events is to narrate them with your child or students. As you go about everyday tasks, ask them “What comes next?”
For an at-home example, brushing teeth may involve parents prompting a child with questions like:
“What do we do now that we’ve put on the toothpaste?”
“How long will we brush?”
“What will we do with the toothbrush once we’re finished?”
For a school example, teachers can review classroom routines. This does double-duty: you’re teaching sequencing skills, but you’re also reinforcing classroom procedures (and in the early grades like kindergarten, for example, teachers spend MONTHS teaching those procedures).
So a classroom sequencing example for lunch time might be:
“How will we walk to the cafeteria?”
“What will we do when we get there?”
“How will we get ready to leave?”
These types of conversations help illustrate the importance of the order of events. They also provide opportunities to practice appropriate sequencing words (first, then, next, after that, etc.)
But sequencing picture activities also play an important role.
Dedicated sequencing practice is great for early elementary students. If you’re looking for story sequencing pictures specific to the fall season, these may be a great fit for your child or students.
This fall-themed story sequencing activity comes in digital and printable versions. This makes it ideal no matter your school situation (and if, Heaven forbid, you unexpectedly flip-flop between face-to-face and online learning, you’ll be prepared either way).
It’s also great for parents to use at home to practice sequencing skills with their kids.
For the printable sequencing version
The sequencing practice in these printables is pretty self-evident. This Fall Sequencing Packet includes 12 different pages of fall events — each with three scenes for students to properly order.
You can also use these fall-themed picture sequencing worksheets to encourage fine motor practice.
Students will use the story pictures to determine the order of the events. Then, they cut and paste the pictures into the appropriate boxes. Cutting (neatly) and pasting is great for fine motor development.
Finally, the printable sequencing worksheets come with an optional “Now Write It” section. In that section, students can practice writing short, age-appropriate sentences on wide-ruled, tracing lines. The sentences are guided, with each line beginning with either “First,” “Next,” or “Last.”
If your students aren’t quite comfortable writing alone, this can be done with the guidance of a parent or classroom aid. If none of your students are prepared for the writing step, you can simply skip it. Instead, have students explain the pictures to you (or a tablemate) in the proper order.
If you’re doing verbal explanations instead of written, this is a good opportunity to probe the student for greater detail. For example, if the student says, “Last, the boy drove home,” you can follow up with a question like, “How did you know that picture came last?”
*For an advanced extension of the activity, you could also ask students to imagine what else might happen between the scenes pictured. For example, look at the sequencing pictures below:
You could ask students what might have happened between pictures 2 and 3. Some possible ideas examples: he gathered additional pumpkins to purchase, he rejected a few pumpkins he didn’t like, he paid for his pumpkin, he carried it to his car, etc.
If you want to get these for your kids at home or your students in class, you can click here to grab the fall printable sequencing activity pack from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. (You’ll need a TPT account, but you can create one for free.)
(*On TpT, you can also preview most of the slides/scenes, if you want a better look first.)
For the digital sequencing version
The digital version of this fall sequencing activity includes all the same events and scenes as the printable version, but the formatting is very different.
Instead of printing, cutting, and pasting, students will sequence the fall events using Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Apps. (The activity may work in other platforms, but those are the two I have, so those are the only two I can vouch for.).
On an ipad, students can open the sequencing activity in the PowerPoint or Google Slides App (make sure it’s in edit mode, not presentation mode). Using their finger, they can drag the event scenes to the appropriate box (First, Next, or Last) using their finger.
On a desktop or laptop, students simply view the activity in edit mode (again, not presentation mode). Then they click and drag the three pictures to the properly ordered boxes (First, Next, and Last).
For each fall event (pumpkin picking, corn harvesting, going on a hayride, etc.), there’s an optional follow-up writing slide for students to explain what’s happening in each step.
I encourage you to implement this follow-up step one way or another (by having students type their answers, record and submit their answers on video, or simply tell them to you or a classmate).
Sometimes a student will get the order of events wrong, but their explanations are reasonable. In that case, the student still understands the proper sequencing of the events.
Click here to buy the fall digital sequencing activity pack from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. (Again, you’ll need to have or create a free TPT account.)
What if I need both the printable and digital version?
No problem! You can get both the fall printable and digital sequencing activities bundled together at a significant discount.
Want sequencing activities for the other seasons?
You can practice this skill all year long with these seasonal sequencing packs:
Winter Sequencing Activities (this one was actually the top seller last year)
Summer Sequencing Activities (I actually have a full write-up of the Summer Sequencing Practice Activities right here on the blog!)
If you want to spread your sequencing practice throughout the year, you can save 20% by purchasing all four seasons together in the the 4 Seasons Sequencing Practice Bundle (printable bundle) (digital bundle).
Have questions or need other resources to help your kids learn and practice sequencing?
Leave me a comment here or shoot me an email at [email protected].