Overview: Recognizing the order of events not only helps in reading comprehension with stories or historical events, but also provides a foundation for breaking large tasks into manageable pieces that must go together in proper order. This exercise pairs students who will do the preparation work for you.
Teacher Preparation: Choose reading material appropriate for your students; short books for younger grades or short stories for secondary grades. Use two works unfamiliar to your students.
* Pair students.
* Give one student story A, and story B to the other, and have them read the story.
* Have students list the order of events in the story.
* Students rewrite their list, jumbling the order of events.
* Students exchange papers.
* Have students sort the order of events they have received from their partner.
* Additional exercise: Students can write their own story based on the events they have just sorted. You can then lead a discussion contrasting students’ writing with the original stories.
Options/Variations: Use readings of historical events and discuss how history would have been different if certain events had taken place in a different order. For example, two American inventors were within hours of each other in taking patents for the same device to the U.S. Patent Office, resulting in a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Do you know who they were? How might our communications industry be different if they had made it to the office in different order?