Lesson: Sequence and Chronological Order Intro.

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to recongize signal words for sequence and identify sequence and chronological order of events in texts including timelines, directions and short passages.

Lesson Plan

Day 1: Introducing the Sequence with Peanut Butter and Jelly
Objective: Students will be able to explain why sequence and order of events is important in a real world setting.
Supplies: peanut butter, jelly, sliced bread, rolls, knife, spoon, plates, paper towels, paper, pencils
The Lesson:
1. Opening the lesson: (5 min) What does sequence mean? Is sequence important? What if we ignore the sequence or order of events when following directions? Where do we read things that have sequence? Today we are going to try an experiment that demonstrates just how important sequence is in the real world and not just in your reading. 
2. The Experiment: (20 min) Divide students into groups of 3-4 and give each group a pencil and a piece of lined paper. Tell students: Today you have a mission. Your job is to work with your group to instruct me on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Do not assume that I know anything about a PBJ sandwich. Think of me as an alien who has never seen, made or eaten this sandwich. You may write and/or draw your instructions but make sure that you are very clear and do not overlook any details! You have 20 minutes to complete this task.  Circulate the room while students write the directions but do not supply any hints or make corrections. 
3. The Practical Test: (20 min) Set up a desk or table in front of the class, collect the directions from the students and then take out the ingredients for making a PBJ. (I would keep these hidden until they are done writing directions because it makes a great shock/surprise.) Begin with one set of student directions, ask the group to come up and have one volunteer read the directions aloud to you and the class. They may only read exactly what is written on the page but they can also show you any pictures/diagrams.   Follow the directions exactly. For example, if they wrote “Get a bread,” feel free to grab a roll instead of a slice of bread. If they wrote “spread some jelly “ then you determine how much jelly they wanted spread and by the way, did the mention where you should spread the jelly? Once you reach the end of their directions, hand the group their sandwich and they may share it while watching the remaining groups go through the same process. It is likely that very few and perhaps no groups will include the necessary detail or order for you to create a traditional PBJ.
4. Reflection: (7 min) Ask the students the following questions: What happened? What went wrong? If you could go back and try the task again, what would you do differently? Why was sequence and order of events important? Why was detail important?  Perhaps have the students write a short response to one or more of these questions before engaging in a class discussion so that students have time to think before sharing. 
5. Attempt #2: (10 min) If time allows, give the groups a second chance to try the task. They can either revise their original directions or start anew. Circulate and ask questions/provide hints on this second round. Tell the students to take home their directions and have a family member try the experiment there.
6. Closing the lesson: (5 min) End the lesson by defining “sequence” (n. The following of one thing after another; something that follows: a result or consequence) and restating why this is an important thing to understand in the real world. Have students brainstorm ways they use sequence in class, including reading and different subjects.
1. What went well?
2. What would you change?
3. What needs explanation?
·         I had the students write their initial directions and then I collected them before they went to music class. When they came back into the room I had set up the sandwich making station. Being able to surprise them with that was great for engagement and kept the experiment a bit of a secret. 
·         Giving them a chance to revise the directions encouraged them to pay much more attention to detail and sequence.
·         Making the sandwiches in front of the students is a critical step (and is a great moment to loosen up and have some fun.)
·         I would like to have had time for them to exchange directions (after the 2nd writing) with another group and then make changes/suggestions to the other group’s directions. I think they would have a more critical eye and understand that others can’t always guess what you are thinking.
·         I didn’t do this, but looking back I should have spent more time at the end of the lesson allowing the students to reflect/brainstorm places they find sequence aside from recipes and listed directions. They could even brainstorm a list of signal words (then, first, next) that are found both in directions and other texts.
·         I was able to create groups of 3-4 and make all of their sandwiches because I have a class of 26 students. Make adjustments for time or group size if you have a larger class.
·         Keep in mind that if you have a lot of EL students, you are more likely to have a lot of semantic errors in the student directions such as some of the following: “put the peanut butter into the bread” or “Get two rolls.” Be ready to follow these directions exactly!

Lesson Resources

Overview of Sequence Standards   Scope and Sequence
Peanut Butter Jelly Sequence   Activity


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