Sequence Background Information for Teachers and Parents

Grade Levels: K-3

This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about sequencing. The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie Sequence. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.

This movie will explore sequence and introduce common transition words that give clues to the order of events in a piece of writing. You may wish to screen or review the How-To Essay movie in conjunction with this topic. As you explore sequence and other comprehension skills, encourage children to be active readers! They should take notes on the plot or jot down important events and their dates to help them keep track of the sequence.

Remind children that the plot is all the events that happen in a story. Events in a story occur in a certain order. Sequence is the order in which things happen or are described. Read a short book together and analyze the plot and the sequence of events. What happens first? What happens next? What happens last?

Review with children that a transition is a word that connects ideas together. Transitions can describe the order of events or tell about time. Brainstorm transitions together, such as first, second, third, then, next, finally, lastly, before, after, while, and meanwhile. You may want to describe a process or read aloud a how-to essay and have children describe the order of events. Then have children explain how to do something, such as borrowing a book from the library or getting ready for bed, by using time order words. You may also want to tell a story, using the transitions before, after, or meanwhile to show how sometimes events can be told in a different order than they actually happen. For example, you may want to share the following scenario: “First, Moby feeds the dog. Before he gives it a bath, he walks it. Finally, he gives it a treat.” Have children tell what happens first, second, third, and last.

Sometimes transitions are called signal words because they signal the reader to pay attention to the order of events. Encourage children to look for signal words as they read and take notes on the sequence of events. They may want to use a graphic organizer, such as a sequence chart or a flowchart to help them take notes. When reading nonfiction, children may want to take special note of important dates. Sometimes events might be presented out of order in a piece of nonfiction writing and the dates are signals about the sequence. They may want to create a timeline to help them keep track of important events.

Remind children to ask questions as they read and take notes about their thoughts, ideas, inferences, and predictions. They should stop occasionally to think and reflect on what has happened. Encourage them to read actively and make connections.