Back to Basics: Sequencing

Welcome to our new Back to Basics series! In this series we will be exploring some of the foundational methods, practices and terminology for teaching reading. This series is for those new to the field of literacy, beginning tutors or those who would just like a refresher. This week we are discussing another reading comprehension strategy: sequencing.

Sequencing is an important comprehension skill readers need to learn, especially for narrative texts. Most people already have a sense of chronological order in stories in terms of a beginning, middle and end. However, understanding how a sequence is put together and identifying its component parts, is a skill worth developing. Beginning readers have a tendency to retell a story starting at the end because this is what they read most recently. Even experienced readers may focus on the parts of the story that appealed to them, rather than the order of events. Learning sequencing helps to break the story into smaller pieces rather than trying to tell it as one large piece. This skill will help learners to write a summary of a text or follow instructions in the correct order. Also, by examining the structure of a story, learners will develop stronger writing skills. In fact, we use sequencing in a number of ways in daily life, even if we don’t realize it.

A simple sequencing activity can begin with reading or listening to a text and identifying keywords or transition words that are clues as to the sequence of events. Next, learners sequence the sentences in the text in the correct order. Alternatively, you may have them sequence the words in a sentence. Using recipes to learn sequencing is another great activity. Below is a short video explaining a sequencing activity in an adult literacy class.

 

Learn more about sequencing and find activities for your learners

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