Story Sequencing

The purpose of this activity is for students to demonstrate understanding of a text or other authentic resource by sequencing a series of events in a story. 

Instructions

  1. The teacher chooses an input source (story, sequenced text, video) that is appropriate for the proficiency level of your students.

  2. The teacher separates the story into individual sentences. There should be at least one sentence (but potentially a set number of  sentences, depending on time, complexity, proficiency level, etc.) for as many students or groups who are putting the story together.

  3. The teacher shuffles the sentence strips and gives one (or more) cut sentences to each student.

  4. Explain to students that the object of this activity is to reassemble the story.

  5. After a designated amount of time, the individual/group reads their completed story to the class, each student reading his/her sentence(s). 

Adaptation for Online/Distance Learning

  1. This activity can be done using either Google Slides or apps like Formative, Nearpod, etc.

  2. On Google Slides: The teacher prepares a slide deck and shares it, giving editing access to all students in the class (‘anyone with link can edit’). Each slide contains a series of images and/or chunks of text from a story or article. Students work individually or in small groups on the same slide to sequence the images and/or text into the correct order.

  3. On apps like Fomative: Students are given a set of images and/or chunks of text. Each image/chunk of text has a corresponding letter. Below the images, there is a ‘sequencing’ question. Students complete the sequencing task by dragging the letters to the correct order.

  4. For individual accountability: Students should be told that non-volunteers will be asked to explain the sequencing order for the images or will be expected to summarize information shared in the text. 

Helpful Tips

  1. If the story has more sentences than there are of sentences as there are students in the group, some students can have two sentences.

  2. The teacher should walk around and provide feedback by removing incorrectly sequenced sentences. This will help students find the correct answer and avoid them getting stuck or going down a garden path.

Differentiation

  1. Cut the sentences into halves and ask students to put the halves together first, then order the sentences. Use a sequence of about six pictures that tell a story, dividing the class into groups. Students put the pictures into the order they think is best and work out a story to match.

  2. This task can also be done with visual supports (ex. a recipe: match each step of a recipe to the correct image, then put the images in order). 

Materials

  1. Sentence strips from a preselected text.