How to Teach Sequencing Skills to Children Plus a Free Printable

Sequencing cards are great for developing children’s logical thinking and reading comprehension. They tick many boxes when it comes to teaching students and are especially beneficial for children with special needs.

Sequencing skills are essential for students to master because they help students:

  • build vocabulary
  • develop narrating and storytelling skills
  • help students learn to sequence events and actions
  • help students to learn to group their thoughts
  • introduce different concepts (life cycle, timetable, etc)
  • help to learn to anticipate the change in the routine
  • teach the use of ordinal numbers and transition words
  • help students to remember and follow instructions

Sequencing cards are a brilliant tool to teach those skills.   Some examples of sequencing cards – a life cycle, history timeline, visual cards with cooking instructions, timetable cards, routine cards (getting dressed, planting a tree). This set of nature-inspired printables featuring photos is one of them and can be found in my store.

Animals and their homes montessori nature sort matching free printables sign up

Here is how to teach sequencing skills with cards:

You may like to write numbers on the back of the cards. Invite the student to play a game. Introduce the concept you are about to present by showing the last cards in the sequence (for example, a frog life cycle). Take the rest of the cards in the sequence and place them in the right order. Then, explain to the child what happened in the sequence.

Place numbers from one and up in front of the student. Invite them to count the number of cards in the sequence (first, second, third, etc.) and match the number to the card.

Mix the cards up and ask the student to place them in the correct order and ask questions (for example, what is going to happen next, what happened before).  Then ask the student to self-assess by turning the cards face down and checking that the numbers are in the right order. Ask the student to explain what is happening in each card and retell the events without the help of cards.

Children always enjoy putting sequence into an act.

Small group activity: Divide children into two groups. Give one set of sequencing cards to each, ask them to place them in the right order, and act it out without saying what’s on it for the other group to guess.

There is a simple way to make story sequencing cards. We like to reuse and often find amazing books in second-hand stores. Once children lose interest in a book, we generally donate it back, or I use illustrations for storytelling. Children place cards in the order of events that take place in the book and narrate it to each other or me. Here is an example of a Christmas story:

flower sequencing activity cards printable
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resources you might find helpful in your classroom

About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.