Teaching sequencing


Sequencing begins with analyzing a setting, situation, circumstances and directions. Before one can sequence, they must understand the environment, grasp the directions and know the overall goal desired for achievement. I use the steps and resources necessary for students to get ready for school in the morning as a sequencing example. They have many directions and commands to use in their environment as they plan and implement each step of the “getting ready” sequence efficiently and in order to be prepared to get to school on time.


I develop science curriculum for an entire system, PK-5. With our new Next Generation Science Standards, engineering and the Engineering Design Process are somewhat new to teachers (we have been teaching EDP with our technology classes for several years, but this is the first time most classroom teachers have been exposed to this way of teaching/learning).
The idea of sequence, trial and error, making mistakes without tears, and learning from mistakes and from others, has been incredibly successful with our young learners!


I use chronological ordering with history to explain sequencing to my students. This method has been useful in my courses.


In kindergarten, we can start with simple unplugged activities like creating edible crafts that follow simple directions. We usually make projects that go with occasions celebrated like turkey project out of crackers, caramel, candy corn, and Hershey kisses for Thanksgiving or rainbow cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day .
We can also play with traditional board games like Chutes and Ladder or Millionaire’s Game. :slight_smile:


It’s just giving step by step directions to the computer. We talk a lot about “recipes” and how if you don’t follow the recipe in order, your food won’t be good. This shows the importance of writing a good recipe for the computer to follow.


I haven’t taught the core computer concept of sequencing to my 4th graders yet, but I think a quick easy idea it discuss putting on shoes and socks. Which has to go on first? Why? This idea allows students to understand the importance of the order or sequencing of doing something. I would ask students to think of other example of sequencing and the importance of the order of their ideas. Since sequencing is a text structure taught in 4th grade, I would probably compare writing in sequence to coding in sequence.


Teaching sequence and algorithms is done on a daily basis through the steps we take to get ready everyday. You can’t put your sock on after you put on your shoe. The same is applied to coding.


I teach middle school technology, so I would first have the students give me the steps in drawing a smiley face on the board, then I would take it a step further in identifying the steps of starting with a computer that is turned off to opening a Microsoft Word document so we could type a paper. I would then have the students work with a partner in picking an activity they do every day and come up with the sequence (order) of doing that activity from beginning to end so that they can understand the importance of writing the code necessary to complete the activity and if it doesn’t work, debugging the issue to fix it.


Just recently, I explained this to a Kindergarten class. I told them that sequencing was no different than telling a new student how to get to the cafeteria for lunch. It is important to tell the instructions in the correct order without wasting time.

One student stated, “It’s like when my Dad gives Mom directions in the car!”



I liked the idea of explaining it like a recipe… it gives you step by step instructions.
I teach preschool and we are not big on technology at my school. I am taking this course to study up on the technology I am missing out on.


I currently do not teach coding, but I am thinking about trying it with a small group of accelerated 3rd and 4th graders.

I have used an activity in the past where students drew something in secret using simple shapes. Then they sit back to back with a partner. Each must describe what is on their paper to their partner. The partner tries to follow directions carefully to recreate the picture.


This is a great activity-I do it and the only instruction I give the students is to draw a “monster”. This works well as everyones concept is different and there is no defined parameters for monster, but once again, the sequence or order in which the instructions are given to order their steps are very important…


I would relate the idea of sequencing and algorithms to procedural text genre in literacy. Students are quite familiar with this genre and are aware that it is based around a list of instructions that aim to give someone directions to be able to do/complete something.


For kids, I’ll explain this with the example of daily activities, for example, wake up in the morning, cover the bed, brush your teeth, etc.


A version of sequencing can be taught by integrating it into what I already teach in science and math. Sequencing can take the form of butterfly life cycles - egg, caterpillar, pupa, butterfly; or plant growth - seed, sprout, plant, bud, flower; or order of operations - PEMDAS, or steps for finding a common denominator, or solving for X in an equation. By comparing coding concepts to math/science concepts, I think my students will relate to coding terms more easily.


Love this idea about Legos. So many kids are into them now. Or even the unifix blocks could work for hands-on practice with a partner.


I teach preservice teachers instructional technology at UNL. If I were to teach them this CS concept (sequencing & loop) as a part of a lesson about teaching CS in K-12, I would use the unplugged activities from the Code Studio lessons so that my students will be exposed to the instructional materials on code.org.The session would go something like this:

  1. I would have groups of 5-6 students.
  2. Each group will choose two people as teachers and the rest will pretend to be K-12 students.
  3. Each group will follow the lesson plan for the unplugged lesson and hold a mini lesson within the group.

So, even though my students are college undergrad students, the activities will be as simple as they would be for K-12 students.


As a kindergarten teacher teaching sequencing is very basic. I had the kids explain their day from opening their eyes, to brushing their teeth and finally ending at school in their seats. If one of them left out a step like putting their shoes on we went back over it and they realized that they need their shoes on to go to school. Or if they say they left their house and got to school, we went back and asked how did you get to school? Did you walk here? Did you have to walk to the bus stop and wait for the bus and then get on the bus and walk to a seat and ride the bus to school and then walk to the door and get off the bus and line up and walk to class? Once they realized that there were procedures that had to happen they learned sequencing very easily.


I use scaffolding projects in order to introduce them to creating and building code.


In order to teach sequencing, I was going to relate the concept to the sequence of a story. I would have students practice putting pictures and descriptions from texts we have read in class in order. We can then discuss that the story would not make sense if the story is not put back together logically.

I also love the ideas I have read about all the how-to writing.