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An essential element of comprehension is understanding cause and effect. Events make sense to people only when they are put in the context of cause and effect.Without such an understanding, they seem arbitrary and ultimately forgettable. Sequencing allows students to identify and recognize relationships of cause and effect, and to make sense of series of events.


Sequencing is a basic skill that helps students to structure their understanding and memory of events in a manner that fosters deeper comprehension. Through sequencing, students can recognize relationships of cause and effect, and appreciate the relationships among, and logic behind, otherwise isolated events. This process imbues events with new meaning, and enables better retention and retrieval.

Content Area Adaptations 

Sequencing is an important skill whenever students are studying a subject in which order matters. It is central to the study of novels and historical texts, as well as to understanding scientific phenomena, complex mathematical operations, the construction of persuasive arguments, and hands-on artistic or vocational processes.

Learning Strategies 

  • Determining Importance
  • Predicting
  • Visualizing

Life Graph

In the Life Graph activity students will create a graph that shows the main events of a character’s life and assign a value to the importance of each event. The purpose of this activity is to synthesize and evaluate the importance of events in a character’s life.

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Synthesis

Sketch to Sketch

In this activity, adapted from Kelley’s Comprehension Shouldn’t Be Silent (2007), students will draw an image from a story the teacher reads aloud. The purpose of this activity is to help build listening comprehension and improve visualizing and summarizing.

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis

Storyboard Your Visualizations

In this activity, students will create drawings that represent their five senses based on what they have read. The purpose of this activity is for readers to experience the text by using their senses to put them inside the text. This can help students to engage with the text on a new level, improve comprehension, and trigger memory. A simple...

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis