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(A Sequencing Activity)



  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts
  • Educational Technology


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Adapt this "sequencing" reading lesson to all subjects across the grades.


Students will

  • read a story.
  • boil down that story to 5 to 7 key events.
  • create a sequencing quiz to go with the story.
  • let a classmate take the quiz they created.
  • adapt/edit the quiz at the end of the activity.


sequence, events, sequencing, timeline, order

Materials Needed

  • grade-appropriate stories to read (two or more)
  • paper and pencil

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students read a story and create a sequencing activity for their classmates to try out. The skill of sequencing, while often considered a "reading" skill, can be easily applied to all content areas. For example, in science class, the steps leading up to a volcano eruption, the process of uncovering a dinosaur, and other topics lend themselves to this kind of sequencing activity. In history class, the events leading up to a war or the steps toward electing a president could be used as the basis for the lesson.

Before the Lesson
For this activity, it is important to choose stories with which your students are not familiar. Your school might have older basal readers, or multiple basal programs; if so, a program you are not using in class might be a good source of material. The Internet can be a good source of stories too.

For example, you might find and print stories from

For this activity, you need copies of at least two stories. If your class includes a wide range of reading levels, you might want to have multiple pairs of stories.

The Lesson
Arrange students into pairs. Give each student in a pair a copy of a different story. Provide time for students to read their stories, and then have them make a list of events that occurred in the story. The list of events should appear in the order in which they occurred. Lists should include at least five -- and no more than seven -- events. Once they have created their lists, have students rearrange the events so they do not appear in the order in which they happened in the story. (They keep the copy of the events in order to serve as an answer key.)

Have students in each pair exchange stories and papers. Then, students read the new story and list the events in the order in which they occur. Have partners check each other's work, and then work together to correct any errors, whether those errors were in the writing of the questions or the completion of the activity.

Extension Activities

  • Now that students have seen some of the problems that might occur in writing a sequencing activity, have each student create a sequencing quiz for a book from the classroom library. Students can insert the quiz into the book, so it is available for students who read the book in the future.
  • Students might use a word processing program to create their sequencing activities, arranging the events in the activity by copying and pasting them into a new document.


Provide a grade-appropriate sequencing quiz; students should achieve a grade of 80 percent or higher on the quiz.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
NT.K-12.4 Technology Communications Tools

Find more great reading activities in Education World's Reading Lesson Archive.

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Originally published 02/28/2003
Last updated 10/16/2009