Sequencing Activities for First Grade

Instructor: Leah Salyer
Learning to sequence in reading is a big part of early literacy. Read on for examples of activities that will teach and reinforce sequencing in reading for first graders.

Order of Daily Activities

When students are first learning about sequencing, one way to introduce order of events is by asking them to put their daily activities in order. Students may complete this activity individually using a worksheet with pictures or by participating in a whole group activity where they will discuss their activities with you. Students will choose from activities that we all do every day such as getting dressed, eating breakfast, going to bed, playing, eating dinner, etc. They will simply put the events in order by telling you, or writing on their worksheets, what they do first, next, and last in a typical day.

Story Cube Read-Aloud

This activity will require the use of some specific materials. You will need a story cube which will include basic questions about the sequence of a story on each side. You may make your own story cube or find a template to create it online. You will begin the activity by reading a story aloud. You will then roll the cube like a dice and ask the students to answer the question the cube shows. For example, the question could be 'What happened first in the story?' Students may then answer out loud as a class activity, or they may write their answers down on a sheet of paper. At the end of the activity, have your students write their answers in the order that the events happened in the story on paper, so you can collect their work.

Another variation of this activity may include multiple story cubes that have pictures rather than sentences on each side of the cube. For sequencing, students can work in groups or teams to roll up to 9 cubes. Students may separate them into groups of 3 and then tell stories based on the sequence of pictures they see. This lesson on Story Sequencing is a helpful resource that can assist you with identifying additional sequencing activities that can be valuable to your students.

First, Next, and Last

For this activity, you will choose a book to read aloud to the class that also comes available in a student booklet. Student booklets that can be reproduced for the classroom may be found at You will explain that words like first, next, and last are used as clues to help us understand the order of events in a story. As you are reading, you may point out any time the author uses these key words. Once the reading of the story is complete, you will discuss the order of events with students. You may ask, 'What happened first in the story? Then what happened next?' Students should also be encouraged to circle or highlight the key words in their student booklets. This lesson on Pre-Reading, Reading & Post-Reading Activities is a valuable resource that can help you plan for this activity and provide you with other activities that an be used with your students.

Sentence Strip Sequencing

You will read a well-known fairy tale to students such as The Three Little Pigs. After the story has been read, you will use a combination of pictures and sentence strips to help students learn how to put the story in order as a whole group activity. Pictures will help the students who are on lower reading levels identify the events in the story with a visual representation while sentence strips will appeal to students on higher reading levels. To further enhance this lesson, consider checking out Sequencing in Teaching. This lesson will give you an overview of some additional ways that you can use sequencing in the classroom. It will also refresh your understanding of what sequencing is and why it's an important skill for children to learn.

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