EL Support Lesson

Understanding Sequence

Use this lesson to help your ELs understand sequencing in fictional texts. It can be a stand-alone lesson or a support lesson to the Sequencing: Order in the Court lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Sequencing: Order in the Court! lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Sequencing: Order in the Court! lesson plan.

Students will be able to identify the correct sequence of events in a story.


Students will be able to discuss events in a text with sequencing words using a graphic organizer.

(5 minutes)
  • Tell students today they'll talk and write about the order of events from this text in groups and as a class. Have a student read the student-facing language objective: "I can talk about events with sequencing words using graphic organizers."
  • Circle the key words (talk about, sequencing words, graphic organizers) and allow students to define them and sketch a picture to represent each term.
  • Distribute an index card to each student and ask students to set a goal for their performance in class. Provide an example, such as, "My goal is to answer every question in a complete sentence."
  • Read aloud the story in the On the Court worksheet.
  • Gather information about their background knowledge by asking them basic comprehension questions surrounding the text. For instance, "What sport are they playing and how do you know?"
(10 minutes)
  • Write the words embarrassed, one-on-one, scolded, and court on the board and distribute the On the Court worksheet. Have the students find the new words in the text and circle the words.
  • Distribute the Context Clues Table worksheet and review the directions. Model finding the meaning of the word embarrassed and complete the first three rows of question number one with all the information about the word.
  • Allow students to complete the first three rows for the next three questions with the words one-on-one, scolded, and court in partners.
  • Ask students to say new sentences using the new vocabulary words in their groups. Then, have them write them down in the fourth row of each question in the Context Clues Table worksheet.
  • Distribute the vocabulary cards and ask students to review their Context Clues Table in partnerships. Circulate through the groups to offer praise and correct misconceptions.
(8 minutes)
  • Tell students they will now learn some transition words when discussing the sequence of an everyday scenario so they can do so with fictional texts. Write the following sentence stems on the board:
    • In the beginning, _____.
    • After, ___.
    • Next, ____
    • In the end, ____.
  • Provide the definition for sequence and model creating sequence sentences in an everyday scenario. Use some of the new vocabulary words in your examples, and encourage students to do so as well.
  • Distribute the white boards and allow them to say the sentences to a partner before writing them on their whiteboard.
  • Have them switch partners and share their sentences about an everyday scenario. Allow them to adjust their sentences based on their second partner’s feedback.
(8 minutes)
  • Reread the story in the On the Court worksheet.
  • Conduct a group discussion around the setting and details surrounding the text. Ask, "What is happening in the text? What details give you information? What is the setting and how do you know? Who else is in the story besides the main character and Santiago?"
  • Reread the sentence stems from the Sentence Level Focus and provide some examples using details from the text. For example, "In the beginning of the story, there were only 10 seconds on the clock and the main character was nervous."
  • Separate students into pairs and ask them to read the text to their partners. Then, have them tell the sequence of the story using the sentence frames for assistance. Allow them to use their white boards to jot information or sketch the story.
  • Allow two groups to share their oral retelling of the text.


  • Provide the definitions for the key terms on their glossary and vocabulary cards in their home language (L1) in addition to their new language (L2).
  • Allow students to share their ideas in their L1 while in groups before sharing in the whole group setting.
  • Give students sentence frames that they can fill-in-the-blanks during their retelling.


  • Ask ELs to complete the flowchart in the Order on the Court worksheet without the predetermined events. Provide them sentence stems so they can write their own events.
  • Have them speak first when sharing their group information and ask them to read the student-friendly objective first.
(6 minutes)
  • Distribute the second page of the On the Court worksheet and ask the students to cut and paste the order of events on the flow chart.
  • Explain that the text will not always have the signal words to tell them the sequence of events, so they'll have to go back to the text and find the events to verify their answers.
(3 minutes)
  • Ask one or two students to share their sequenced flowchart with the class. Ask students to raise their thumbs up if they agree with the order or thumbs down if they disagree. If they disagree, have them suggest a correction.
  • Choose a student who hasn't spoken much in the class to share their own goal from the Introduction section with the class. Ask students to rate their attainment of their goal on the back of their index cards. Provide a sentence frames for assistance:
    • I did/didn't complete my goal___.
    • Next time, I will___.

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