I have found that teaching my students that they may order nonfiction texts in three different ways – chronological, sequential, and consecutive order – really helps their comprehension of the material.
Activity #1 – Go Over Definitions for Chronological, Sequential, and Consecutive Order
Here is how I cover the three ordering topics. You will find these examples and definitions in the handout.
Chronological order usually refers to how things happen in order of time. The segments of time may go forward or backward. This pattern works well when telling a story. People tell historical events in chronological order. Also explaining how something happens or works is chronological order. Chronological order may recount a series of events that happened over time. Chronological order organizes events from one point in time to another.
Online Activities to Help Teach Chronological Order
Lesson Plans for Chronological Order
Sequential order usually refers to steps in a process or event. This pattern works well when using step-by-step directions. Owner’s manuals and cookbooks use this pattern. Sequential order may show how to do something.
Online Activities to Help Teach Sequential Order
- Making Toast
- Brushing Your Teeth
- Carving a Pumpkin
- Making a Pizza
- Making a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
- Washing your Hair
Consecutive order means one after the other. This may be a period of time such as days. Any regular time intervals such as each year, each month, and so on are consecutive over. Consecutive order often refers to numbers.
An example of consecutive numbers would be 1, 2, 3 or 9, 10, 11. Consecutive order is not a writing style. Think Back-to-Back. Example: For three consecutive years, the groundhog predicted an early spring.
Online Activities to Help Teach Consecutive Order
This fun event will be sure to help your students remember the meaning of consecutive order.
Activity #2 – Chronological, Sequential, and Consecutive Order Organizers
These three printable organizers may be used with any topic. For students to really understand the three types of ordering information, I recommend taking one topic and have students complete each organizer on the specified topic.
Use the topic of horses.
For writing a paragraph using chronological order, students could create a timeline of the relationship between horses and man. To begin, students could start by discussing how the Mesopotamians used horses to pull chariots in 2400 BCE. Students then move forward in time listing important events. One could be how the Spanish brought horses to America.
Students could write a sequential order paragraph by listing the steps for grooming a horse.
An example for writing a consecutive order paragraph could be telling about Calvin Borsel. Borsel is a horse who won 3 out of 4 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
Activity #3 – Sequencing Activity
- First, print the cards onto cardstock or heavy-weight paper. Laminate for repeated use.
- Next, place students into small groups or with partners.
- Provide each group with one set of cards.
- Each student will randomly order the cards. Next students write a paragraph describing or giving information about what is taking place. [Make sure each student in the pair or group uses a different sequencing order.]
- If students have access to laptops, iPads, or a computer lab; this can turn into a mini-research project.
- Next, students exchange completed paragraphs.
- Finally, students read their peers’ paragraphs and order the cards based on the information in the paragraphs.
Did you know that in 2011, 66.8% of the paper consumed in the United States was recycled? By placing the paper in curbside or drop-off recycling bins, trucks will not haul the paper to land fields. Instead, paper is transported to recycling centers. By recycling one ton of paper we save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and 463 gallons of oil.
After you put paper in the recycling bin, it is sorted into different grades. The grade depends on the fiber length. Each time paper is recycled, the fibers become shorter. Most paper can be recycled seven times before the fibers become too short. After the paper is sorted, it is transported to paper mills for processing. The amount of paper recovered is an average of 338 pounds for each person living in the United States. This saves many trees.
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