Can you teach sequencing at the emergent level?
Of course, you can. It was definitely a trick question. It’s all about routine, practice, expectation, and confidence. If you follow my blog you know I preach and preach about routine. Emergent writers are especially in need of routine and confidence. I have a set of Sequencing pictures, anchor charts, activities and lessons. Here is one part of my sequencing routine.
Years ago my PTA “gifted” my class the box of sequencing puzzles in the picture. I’m not trying to be awful, but I hated the set. They didn’t have to understand anything about sequencing to get the puzzles correct, they just had to know how to do puzzles, so I put it on a shelf…
Then, my principal told me I had to use it.
Soooo…sequencing is as easy as I-2-3.
First, teach the routine whole group.
I used the box to introduce sequencing and sequencing words: first, then, and last. Make an Anchor Chart.
Using the document camera…show the class the 3 pieces to the puzzle.
Students can easily put the pieces in order (and it’s a great time to let a struggling writer feel success).
Students will construct the puzzle and orally tell what they see.
Get them used to using the words “first, then, and last” as they tell their story.
Students should review the puzzle and orally agree on a sentence for the first piece of the puzzle. If the students tell you a long and drawn out sentence, help them edit it to the basics. Once they get the routine, they can elaborate. Ask your students to write a sentence about each piece of the puzzle. Using the key words “First, Then, and Last” and word wall words, compose “First, we get the ice cream.” Of course, you would stretch the sounds in ice cream to help students write this sentence. This might take 10 minutes. Don’t create a long drawn out phonics lesson on long vowels.
Students will reread Tuesday’s sentence and then decide the “Then” sentence. “Then, you scoop the ice cream.” It’s basic. It’s not rocket science. It’s a process. Make sure to connect “scoop” to “moon” on the sound chart and refer to “ice cream” in the first sentence. Reread the entire passage.
Students will reread Wednesday’s sentence and then decide on the “last” sentence. “Last, you eat the ice cream.” Reread the sentences and ask them to tell you the sequence words (first, then, and last).
Students get a copy of the story they have helped write during the week. They can illustrate the puzzle pieces. Finally, this needs to become a center! That’s right. That’s how this process becomes routine.
Students need guaranteed practice with sequencing. Supply the center with a Ziploc bag with a sequence puzzle. Each bag is different.
Students take a bag, make the puzzle, write the 3 sentences, then draw the pictures. This center is good for 4 weeks, because they can trade around bags each week.
If you really want to get a lot for your time, put 3 complete puzzles in the bags (9 pieces), have the students make all the puzzles, and choose 1 to write about.
Now, this center doesn’t need to be changed for 9 weeks.
Upping the Rigor
As students become more and more proficient with writing the how-to puzzles, it’s time to up the rigor.
The rigor can be added by requiring more sentences or by adding another step. First, Then, Next, Last. Students are given a strip of 4 pictures to sequence and adding a “next” step.
Pictures are provided, but the students must order the pictures without the safety net of a puzzle.
Enjoy the FREEBIE Sequencing Sample Set, click the link or the picture to the right.