This lesson looks at sequencing events in the day, specifically looking at events in the morning, afternoon and evening.
This is an introduction to sequencing further events and this skill precedes sequencing numbers. We will be teaching the sequencing of events using the words with the following meanings:
- Before: means in front of
- After: means behind
- First: there is nothing before this
- Last: there is nothing after this
The first part of the day that we will look at is the morning.
The morning is the start of the day, when we wake up, after the sun rises.
We say first, I wake up.
This means that there is nothing I do before I wake up.
It means that every other activity will happen after this.
Here are the next activities that I do in the morning.
Before I eat breakfast, I get dressed.
Before is a comparative word.
When teaching sequencing events, we should emphasise this and you can download out accompanying activity cards to help with this. You can cut out each of the day’s activities on a card to help work through this lesson in a more physical manner.
When we read, “Before I eat breakfast”, we can take the breakfast card and hold it. The word before tells us that the other activity is in front of this. You can move the getting dressed activity card in front of the breakfast card.
We can think of this as meaning ‘Compared to eating breakfast, getting dressed happens first’.
The next activity to sequence is shown below:
After I eat breakfast, I brush my teeth.
After is another comparative word.
When we read, “After I eat breakfast”, we can hold the breakfast card. The word after means that the other activity is behind this card. You can place the brushing teeth card to the right of the breakfast card.
It can be useful to work in terms of left and right to represent before and after as this is how sequences are usually represented.
When we use the word before, the other card goes to the left.
For the word after, the other card goes to the right.
Here is the complete sequence of the morning’s events.
When teaching sequencing events, it is helpful to use pictures to tie it to a ‘story’ and it is helpful to retell the story of events after sequencing them, to reinforce the use of the language.
Next is the afternoon, which is the middle part of the day. It is after the morning.
Before I eat lunch, I ride my bike.
It is helpful to use routines such as mealtimes to help learn parts of the day such as breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon and dinner in the evening.
Again the word before here means that compared to eating lunch, riding my bike happens first.
Before tells us that compared to the eating lunch card, we place the riding bike card to the left.
Now we are told that after I eat lunch, I got to the shop.
After eating lunch tells us that compared to eating lunch, going to the shop happens last.
The word after tells us that the going to the shop card goes to the right of the lunch card.
Here is the full sequence of activities in the afternoon
I ride my bike, then I eat lunch and then I go to the shops.
Next is the evening. The evening is the end of the day and it occurs after the afternoon.
We are told that before I eat dinner, I watch a movie.
After I eat dinner, I read a book.
Here is the evening’s series of events.
Finally, I go to bed.
This is the last activity that we all do and this helps to reinforce the definition of the meaning of last.
When teaching these three parts of the day, we have only started with three events at a time.
Before moving onto more complex sequences, a child must be able to compare two events.
We can start by teaching the use of the words first and last.
This allows the child to get used to ordering events.
You can print the accompanying activity cards and create your own picture sequencing events. You can take two cards and start by asking your child which happens first and which happens last.
Once this is understood, the natural progression is to look at sequencing three activities, such as those in the morning, afternoon and evening above.
If your child understands the meaning of first and last and is able to order two events, then they can use the words before and after.
The word ‘before’ can be used in the same way that the word ‘first’ can when comparing two events.
The word ‘after’ can be used in the same way that the word ‘last’ can when comparing two events.
I recommend printing the activity cards and using them physically, along with adding your own pictures. Your child could even create a story board of their own day.