Sequencing Activities for 5th Grade

Instructor: Eric Campos

Eric has tutored in English, writing, history, and other subjects.

Sequencing is an important skill that applies to every subject and just about anything we do from day to day. It is important for younger students to continually apply sequencing skills in their studies. Below are a few activity ideas that you can apply in the 5th-grade classroom.

Goal Of Sequencing Activities

Sequencing involves the arrangement of events, ideas, objects, and other things into a logical order. Primarily this is done through a chronological sequence: what's first, next, and last. Sequencing can also involve completing steps in a process. Sequencing activities must have the students organize and prioritize information and then display a layout of events that follow the necessary order. Sequencing is a broad a topic that can be applied to several subjects including history, language arts, science, and more. You can easily craft your own sequence activities using 5th-grade curricula. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Timeline Activity

One of the best ways to organize important dates and events is to create a timeline. This is a great sequencing activity that can be done as a group activity or potentially as an individual exercise. Simply focus on a subject you've been discussing in class and draw the timeline across the board. From here you can list events, names, or dates on one side of the board and then have students organize them onto the timeline. History is an ideal course in which to apply this activity, but you can rework the timeline to focus on what students are reading in their English class, too.

Image Arrangement

Many students benefit from visual stimuli, so being able to use images in a sequencing activity would further engage your students' interest and critical thinking skills. Bring in photos, illustrations, or even have students draw representations. Mix up the images and have your students arrange them in the order of events or processes. You can also have your class work together to put the images in the proper sequential order. A good example of this would be in a science class, learning about natural processes such as photosynthesis. You can produce images depicting each stage and have students arrange them in the order of occurrence.

Story Sequencing Exercises

To ensure your students are reading and comprehending their class material, you can work literature and/or textbook content into a sequencing activity. Several story-based sequencing exercises can be found online for you to use as a template, but it's a very easy exercise to compose. Simply list or scramble parts of the assigned reading on the board and have your students arrange them by relevance and chronological order. Apply this to any subject that requires reading. Have students identify sequencing words like, 'first,' 'next,' 'then,' and 'finally,' or omit the words and have students practice adding them to the story as part of the exercise.

Teacher Resources

To prepare your fifth graders for middle school and advanced courses, you may want to regularly supplement your lesson plans with sequencing activities. The resource, Sequencing in Teaching: Definitions and Examples, will provide you with useful tips on how to implement sequencing activities. It will also give you context on how to use sequencing throughout different subjects. Check out Story Sequencing: Activities & Games for additional activities that focus on reading comprehension!

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