Lesson plan

Plan Your Story: Sequence of Events

Strong narratives have clear sequences of events. Through this lesson, students plan out what will happen in their story before they start writing their own engaging narratives.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Get down to the nitty-gritty of any story with the lesson Plan Your Story: Sequence of Events. Catered to first graders and second graders, this narrative writing activity discusses how stories with a clear sequence of events make a story stronger. Using a mix of writing and drawing exercises, this lesson challenges young writers to use share a story from their own life. They will describe specific events, put them in the correct order, and use transition words and details to make the story pop.

Students will be able to write a narrative with a clear sequence of events and relevant details.

(5 minutes)
  • Draw pictures of the following events on the board:
    • Boy walking out a door.
    • Boy waking up.
    • Boy eating breakfast.
  • Explain what is happening in each picture.
  • Ask students to put the pictures in order from first to last, explaining their ideas and reasoning clearly.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that narratives are stories that have a beginning, middle, and end. This means that they have a clear sequence, or order, of events.
  • Explain that when writing narratives it can be helpful to plan out the sequence of events first. This helps us organize events, people, and details.
  • Tell students that you are going to write a narrative about an event in your life. Brainstorm what might happen at the beginning, middle, and end of your story, and include details about your thoughts, actions, and feelings in those times. As you name events, write/draw them on index cards.
  • Model how to use your index cards to make sure you're including each event and place in your written narrative. Begin to write your narrative in front of the class so they can see you using the index cards to keep your story on track.
  • Show the class how you connect the events with simple transition words, such as first, next, and then. Explain that these words help show the order that the events happened.
  • Tell students that using the index cards helped you clearly share the events in the correct order. Point out that your narrative has a good ending that ties the story together.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students describe to a partner what they will write about for their narrative. Have them share events that happen at the beginning, middle, and end of their stories and include relevant details (i.e., people, place, events, things, and feelings) in their descriptions.
  • Remind them to talk about their thoughts, actions, and feelings in each of the events. They should also include the people what were at the location where the event took place.
  • Encourage students to express clearly their feelings and ideas surrounding the events in their narratives.
(20 minutes)
  • Hand out five index cards to each student. Explain that they will need to include events that happen at the beginning, middle, and end of their stories. Tell them that they will also need to include thoughts, actions, and feelings that go with each of those events.
  • Have students use their index cards to help them sequence events as they write their narratives. Remind them to include sequence words between the events, such as first, next, and then, and to also include closure for the story.

Support:

  • Have students write descriptions of the events on their index cards, but skip writing the entire narrative.

Enrichment:

  • Challenge students to create a sequence map of their stories by visually representing what happens at each step.
(5 minutes)
  • Assess how students are sequencing events as they write their narratives. Note their inclusion of sequence words and details about their thoughts, actions, and feelings during those events, as well as a sense of closure for their story.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students share their completed narrative with a partner.
  • Call on student volunteers to share their narratives with the whole class. Allow time for other students to ask questions about the stories to help the presenter share ideas clearly about the events that happened.
  • Encourage presenters to express their feelings and ideas clearly in their narratives.

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