Story Sequencing Activity

What You Need:

  • A picture book that your child likes and knows fairly well. Start with books in which print is placed on the same part of each page (either bottom or top), and look for clear illustrations on every page as well. Later, you can use more complicated text formats
  • A dictionary
  • Copy machine
  • Scissors
  • Blank typing paper
  • Glue stick

What You Do:

  1. Start by choosing no more than six pages from whatever book you and your child have chosen: you will need the first page, the last page, and four pages in between on which you can see key pictures and text that show the plot advancing.
  2. Make copies of each of these pages, and then cut them in between the picture and the text. Put the pictures in one pile, and texts in the other, and scramble each pile.
  3. Now it's time for some sequencing. Lay six blank pieces of paper on a table in a row. Have your child lay out the jumbled illustrations in the order that she thinks is the correct sequence.  Which one comes first in the book? Second? Third? And so on.
  4. Now the more challenging part: have your child match the texts to the proper illustration. The text should match the right picture and the whole thing should tell the story clearly. As she is doing this, have her explain to you what is happening in each scene and why she thinks she has matched the right text with the right illustration. Ask her if there are any words she does know. Have her use a dictionary to look them up.
  5. Have your child glue each correct set to a piece of blank paper, and then staple the bundle in the correct order. She's just “made” a mini-book…and advanced her reading comprehension at the same time.

You can repeat this activity with several different stories to really give your child a chance to practice. Keep encouraging her to match those pictures and make movies in her head as he moves forward. This will carry her through chapter books, nonfiction books, and all sorts of literary glories in the years ahead!

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