Lesson Plan

Exploring Sequence with Signal Words

Use this lesson to teach your students how to retell the beginning, middle, and end of a story using sequencing words and phrases. This lesson can stand alone or be used as a pre-lesson for the *Story Structure Rollercoaster* lesson.
View aligned standards



Students will be able to identify the elements of a fiction story using a story map graphic organizer.


Students will be able to put story events in sequential order with signal words and phrases using sentence stems.


(3 minutes)
Teach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceSignal the Story StructureVocabulary Cards: Exploring Sequence with Signal WordsGlossary: Exploring Sequence with Signal Words
  • Ask students to think about the process of something familiar, such as brushing teeth or getting cereal for breakfast. Call on a volunteer to share the process, and record any sequencing words or phrases used in the explanation. Keep these words hidden from the students until the debrief.
  • Display the list of sequencing words or phrases that you jotted down while the student explained the process. Explain that these words helped you follow the sequence of events in the process, and that these types of words and phrases are important when we are explaining or retelling a story.
  • Go over a student-friendly language objective such as: "I can put the events in a story in the correct order using words that show beginning, middle, and end."