The many possibilities of story sequencing

Lots of our resources contain the suggestion of providing children with a set of pictures from the story and ask them to sequence them into the right order. When I started doing this I didn’t realise the potential of this activity.

We do it in groups and so immediately you have the benefits of team work. Straight away there’s some problems to solve, are you going to spread all the pictures out? Does one person hold them and just keep looking through them? Or do you dish them out to everyone in the group? Where will you put your correct sequence? Is there enough room on the table, where will you start it on the table, which direction will your pictures go?Some children are good at looking closely at the pictures to spot the clues, others can see the overall story much better. Making the pictures slightly tricky and perhaps including a few similar ones forces them to look at the details and try to work out exactly which order they come in. It ensures they have an understanding of the characters and the storyline.

Once you have your sequence you can easily extend the activity. They can find their favourite part, or what they think is the most important part. If you take a few pictures out, is the story still complete? Can you miss any bits out and still have the story? You could give them a list of emotions in the story and ask them to put them onto the sequence where they find them. Or ask them to label the emotions in each picture. They could have a list of ‘Christian words or belief’ found in the story (e.g. sin, forgiveness, miracle,) and asked to identify where they happen in the story.  You could ask them to write down all the questions they have about the story and pop them onto the part of the story they apply to.

Taking the sequencing outside adds lots more fun! If you’ve colour coded the picture sets they could have a relay race first to find their set of pictures. How can you stop the wind blowing them away? What will they peg them onto?

And I haven’t tried these out yet but I’m wondering if instead of pictures, we could use snippets of dialogue from the story which they need to put in order. Or emojis? Could they order the emotions they find in the story?

We’ve included pictures to print for sequencing activities for lots of our resources. Enjoy using them in your class.

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