What is more fun than popping a balloon? Popping a balloon and then sequencing events, that’s what!! You have to spice up your instruction to make a boring thing like sequencing be exciting and fun for your students. Keep on reading to find out how you can add a little pizzaz to your literacy instruction.
1. Select a story that your students are familiar with. It can be a picture book, a chapter book or even a kids movie that they all have seen.
2. Choose ten or so events from the story. Type them up (be sure to not include any signal words or numbers). [Don’t have time to type up your own events… keep reading for the freebie!]
3. Figure out how many students you will have in each group. Group sizes of 4-5 work the best for this activity. After you know how many groups you will have, print and copy the events from the story onto colored paper. If you have 4 groups, make four different copies on four different colors. Five groups, five copies on five colors.
4. Cut out the events so they are like small slips. Roll them up (or fold them) so they will easily slide down the neck of a balloon.
5. Place two or three events in each balloon. Be careful not to mix any colors and to only have one balloon per student. If you want 4 kids in each group then place the event slips in only four balloons. Don’t worry about keeping the balloons separate. After the event slips are in, blow up the balloon and tie them off.
6. Warn the classrooms surrounding your’s before you proceed with the popping of the balloons.
7. Students will each take one balloon and pop it. Once it is popped, they will see what color slip they have and find the rest of their group (based on the color of the slip).
8. The race is on to see which group can sequence the events in the least amount of time. Of course, you will want to encourage all of them to continue even after one group has finished… but the race element adds an extra challenge that the kids will love!
9. Be sure to check their sequence once they say they are done. If they got one event wrong, you can either tell them which one(s) or you can just say there are ___ events in the wrong order.
10. After all the groups are finished, everyone gets to help clean up the broken bits of balloon and you can discuss the events of the story and why sequence of events is so important!
Here are some pictures of my students in action!
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