Picture Books to Teach Sequencing in the Classroom
Use these picture books to teach sequencing by identifying the beginning, middle and end of a story and retelling the events in the correct order. This skill also helps your students follow a set of instructions in order to accomplish a task.
What is Sequencing and Why is it Important?
Sequencing breaks down an event or a task into simple steps, in a specific order. Putting events and tasks in logical order helps others follow along and fully understand the text or complete a task successfully.
The Benefits of Teaching Sequencing
- retelling story events in the order they happened
- retelling events so others understand the story and plot
- improving prediction skills because of increased
- understanding of the plot structure.
- organising story events and other information and ideas.
- following a set of instructions in order to accomplish a task.
- organising ideas when writing independently.
- understanding of how a text is structured.
Why Use Picture Books to Teach Sequencing?
The short nature of picture books supports teaching sequencing. The story events will be clearer or more obvious than in longer books. The illustrations will also help your students recall events and their order.
Sequencing involves identifying the beginning, middle and end of a story and retelling the story events in the correct order. The ability to sequence depends on your student’s comprehension of the book they are reading.
Identify different parts of a story so you know they have comprehended what they have read.
Teaching Sequencing Prompts and Phrases
Encouraging your students to use first, then, next, finally/last, when sequencing a story. They are important transition or signal words and help your students think about the order of events.
When using books to teach sequencing, there are words and phrases that will support your students structural understanding. They include:
Beginning: In the beginning, First of all, Once upon a time, Once there was
Middle: Meanwhile, After that, Suddenly
End: In the end, Finally, After all
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Picture Books to Teach Sequencing
An Island Grows by Lola M. Schaefer
The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon
Camilla Cream loves lima beans, but she won’t eat them because her friends hate them. A mystery illness causes her to turn into what others think she should be. No one can figure out what is wrong until Camilla realises she needs to just be herself not bow to peer pressure.
A Beach Tail by Karen P. Williams
Gregory draws a lion in the sand on a visit to the beach with his dad. As the tail grows longer Gregory finds many interesting objects. When he gets lost he retraces his steps, passing all the objects he found on the beach and is reunited with his dad.
Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Farmer Brown’s cows type him a letter demanding electric blankets. They go on strike when he refuses their demands. Duck takes an ultimatum from Farmer Brown to the cows and they agree to exchange the typewriter for the blankets. But, the next day Farmer Brown gets a note from the ducks demanding a diving board for their pond!
Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson
A bear takes shelter in an empty apartment in Snooty Towers. He tastes some food but it is too soggy or too crunchy. He sits on the cat and bursts a beanbag chair. When the family return the bear recognises the mummy. It is Goldilocks all grown up!
Compare and contrast with the original Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
Journey by Aaron Becker
A lonely girl escapes into a mysterious world and witnesses an evil emperor capture a majestic bird. With courage, the girl outsmarts the emperor’s army to set the bird free.
King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
Little Wise Wolf by Gijs van der Hammen
Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn
When Lola visits the library with her father they choose books for bedtime. She enjoys acting out the stories and pretending to be a fairy princess, a pilot, a farmer and a traveller to faraway lands.
Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
When a boy finds a penguin at his door he sets out to help the sad-looking bird find its way home. After dropping the penguin on the ice he starts his journey home. It felt strange to be on his own so he searched for the penguin. After a fruitless search, the boy sets off home only to discover the penguin searching for the boy.
Manjhi Moves a Mountain by Nancy Churnin
Dashrath Manjhi shows how determination, grit and patience can literally move mountains. He uses a hammer and chisel to break through a mountain to a town where people in his village can access schools, health care and running water.
Marianthe's Story: Painted Words by Aliki
Me and You by Anthony Browne
In Anthony Browne’s version of Goldilocks, we discover the motivation behind her visit to the Bear’s house. Alone and living in a disadvantaged area, she comes across a bright and inviting home. As she goes inside we see events from the perceptive of the bears, giving the reader the chance to compare both sides of the story.
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Entering the napping house we see grandma, a child, a dog, the pet cat and a mouse all asleep on a bed. That is until a wakeful flea bites the mouse and starts a chain reaction that wakes everyone up.
Use to teach cause and effect, recurrent patterns and sequencing.
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey
Pig the Pug was greedy and selfish in almost every way. He lived in a home with his dachshund friend, Trevor, but selfish Pig refused to share his toys with Trevor. Pig soon learns a painful lesson when he gets his just deserts.
The Rain Came Down by David Shannon
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
Six blind mice feel different parts of an unknown object and discuss what they think it is. Their differing views cause an argument, each thinking their own opinion is correct. The seventh and final mouse explores the whole ‘Something’ and understood it was an elephant.
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
When Floyd got his kite stuck in a tree he throws his shoes to dislodge it. That doesn’t work so Floyd attempts to use more and more outrageous objects (and people) to free the kite!
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse by Mac Barnett
When a mouse is swallowed by a wolf he thinks his life is over, only to discover a duck who has made himself at home. When a hunter decides to kill the wolf the pair have to cooperate and make a brave decision to save their lives.
Two by Kathryn Otoshi
Best friends, One and Two love doing everything together. That is until Three comes along and Two feels left out. She was not an odd number. The even numbers support Two but an escalating argument occurs between the odd and even numbers. Zero encourages Two to be the bigger number and put a stop to the divisions.
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
Wild by Emily Hughes
A little girl has known nothing but nature from birth. She is unabashedly, irrefutably, irrepressibly wild, until one day when she meets a new animal that looks oddly like her. They take her home and try to make her live like them. In the end, she is returned to where she belongs… the wild.
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Do you have any favourite books to teach sequencing with your students? Let me know.
Below are a few videos you may find useful for yourself or to show your students.