Three Fun Activities to Help Teach Sequencing

Narratives may use different sequencing techniques to make the story more interesting. Some common sequencing techniques include:

  • Flashbacks fill in details that took place in the past.
  • Foreshadowing are hints as to what is to take place in the future.
  • Students can remember sequence by noting chronological order clue words such as first, next, after, and so on.

Another type of sequencing that appears in nonfiction text is logical order. This uses headings, subheadings, and other text features to guide students through the material.

Activity #1 ~ Organizer

This foldable graphic organizers gives definitions to four types of sequencing. Three versions of the organizer are offered: one with blanks where students write definitions; one with the definitions provided but with blank spaces for students to write in key words; and one with the answers provided. The third copy of the organizer may be used as an answer key, for differentiated instruction, for students who were absent during instruction, or if you wish for the students to have cards already completed. Just click on the image to download the organizer.

Sequencing Organizer

Activity #2 ~ Paragraph Picture Story

Have students use the four picture cards to write paragraphs for each of the following fictional sequences: flashback, foreshadowing, and chronological order. Look a the samples below.

Flashback Sequence

As Matt was riding his bike home from school, he was thinking about the weekend. He thought about going rock climbing. Then he remembered what happened the last time he went climbing. Matt enjoyed the long strenuous climb up the side of the mountain. He was looking forward to reaching the top and just stretching out on his back to rest; however, when his looked over the topmost rock, he had spotted a grizzly bear ~ a humongous grizzly bear. Instead of the nice rest Matt had looked forward to, he scrambled back down the rock face and hightailed it home.

Foreshadowing Sequence

Matt was quite an outdoorsman. Every weekend he went on one adventure. Today he was riding his bike home from school and thinking about the rock climbing trip he planned for tomorrow. Matt would really be shocked if he only knew what was in store for him on this trip.

Chronological Order Sequence

Matt had his Saturday all planned out. First he rode his bike over to Grandfather Mountain. Once there he went rock climbing for a couple of hours. Next he visited the animal habitats where he could observe the cougars white-tailed deer, black bears, bald eagles and river otters in their natural settings. Matt had a terrific day at Grandfather Mountain.

Download the sequencing cards here.

Activity #3 ~ Online Practice – “Recreating the Story” 

At the site, students are offered three sentences. Students must read the story then select the sentence that comes next in the sequence.

Recreating the Story


If you need additional sequencing resources you might like to check out Sequencing:

Sequencing Unit on Teachers Pay Teachers

Clipart Credits



Gay Miller

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