Chronological Order in Reading Study Guide

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

Chronological Order in Reading

n this lesson, you'll discover that some authors write about things in the order in which they happened.

JUST EXACTLY WHAT does the word chronological mean? It helps to know that the Greek root chron means "time" and logical means "valid or true." So chronological means "in true time order" or sequence.

We do everything in sequence, one step at a time. First, you wear your clothes, then you wash them, dry them, fold them or hang them up, and put them away. Authors often use words like first, second, next, last, before, after, then, now, later, or finally as signals that the events in a story are being told in sequence.

Example 1

Before the concert, we were excited because we had awesome front row seats. Then the show began, and for awhile, it was great. But soon I couldn't even hear the music over the screams of the audience! After the concert, when we could hear again, we had pizza and listened to some quiet rock!

But sometimes the author doesn't use signal words, and readers must figure out the sequence from details in the text.

Example 2

I'm so glad to be home now, where it's quiet! Yesterday I went to a concert and it was unbelievable . . . not in a good way. The music and the crowd were so-o-o loud! At the beginning, I thought I was lucky because I got front row seats. Boy was I wrong!

The sequence of getting front row seats for a concert, suffering through the loudness of music and concertgoers, and coming home are the same, but they aren't spelled out in step-by-step order. The ability to recognize chronological order can help you understand what you read. A sequence chain can help you organize the events in a selection and help you remember what you read.

Besides using time order, an author may sequence things by ranking them in order of importance, speed, size, age, and so on.

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Chronological Order in Reading Practice Exercises

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