Sequencing or correctly ordering the events of a story helps kindergarten children comprehend what they read. Because young children have little concept of time, teachers must facilitate their understanding of sequencing events. Hands-on activities are crucial for teaching complex reading skills because kindergarten-aged students tend to be concrete thinkers. Hands-on activities help them internalise abstract concepts like sequencing.
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Nursery Rhyme Sequencing
Nursery rhymes are ideal for beginning sequencing instruction due to their familiarity with students. Print visual sequencing cards for the nursery rhymes you wish students to practice sequencing. Free printable nursery rhyme sequencing cards are also available online (Resources). Have each student work with a partner for this activity. Give each pair of students a set of cards for a different nursery rhyme. Allow them a few minutes to correctly order the cards. Have each group of students retell its nursery rhyme while pointing to the cards that illustrate the events of the rhyme. When all groups have retold their rhymes, have students exchange cards with another group.
Sequencing Sentence Strips
Read aloud "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle to the class. Using 10 sentence strips, write the events of the story according to the day of the week on which each happened. Make a sentence strip for the beginning -- the hatching of the egg; and one for the ending -- the changing of the caterpillar into a butterfly. Mix up the sentence strips and put them in a pocket chart. Read aloud the scrambled events on the sentence strips. Let your students help decide the correct order of the story. When the class has determined the correct order of events, reread the story. Have students vote on whether they agree with the present order with a thumbs up or thumbs down.
Sequence Clue Words
Read the story "Henry and Mudge: The First Book of Their Adventures" by Cynthia Rylant out loud to the class. Explain to the students that there are clue words for sequencing that help us understand the order of events. Sequence clue words include "first," "next" and "last." Give each student a sequencing story map (Resources). Tell the students to draw or write the events in order. More advanced students should be encouraged to use words in addition to pictures. They should draw a picture for the first event in the first box, the next event in the second box, and so on. The ending of the story should be drawn or written in the last box.
The Hare & the Tortoise Puppet Play
Read the fable "The Hare and the Tortoise" aloud to the children. Have students choose a partner for this activity. Give each group two craft sticks and printouts of tortoise and hare puppets. Each group will make tortoise and hare stick puppets. The students must perform a puppet play using the events of the story, which must be ordered correctly. Allow the groups 10 minutes to practice with their partners. Have each group perform their play for the rest of the class.
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