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Sequence Organizer

Format

A Sequence Organizer learning strategy is a graphic organizer that is used as a way of classifying/organizing information to represent causality and consequences, and to identify patterns.

Why Use it?

  • To support the development of skills related to observing, classifying/organizing and predicting to depict the progression or pattern of an event, investigation and/or exploration.
  • To illustrate the sequence of steps, tasks or events that lead to an outcome or consequence.
  • To depict cyclical patterns in students’ lives or cyclical patterns in nature like the seasons, the water cycle, etc.
  • To identify possible causes and consequences to predict patterns.
  • To foster the skill of using appropriate vocabulary the students’ rationale for the resulting sequences.
     

Tips for Success

  • Start by having sequences that students are familiar with and that are not overly complex.
  • Prompt students with questions to explain their sequences.
  • Have enough cards so that each student within a group is given one card from the sequence or alternatively use self-sticking adhesive notes.
  • Provide time for students to rearrange their sequences a number of times until they reach consensus.
     

How do I use it?

  • Before using this strategy, introduce its purpose to the students and provide a structured example to teach and model expected behaviours.
  • Try choosing an investigation or an event that has multiple steps/ stages.
  • Model how these steps/stages can be represented by images or words to show their progression towards an outcome or consequence.
  • Prepare predetermined steps/stages on cards or on the interactive whiteboard in the form of images or words. Have one image or word per card that represents one step/stage.
  • Have students use the skills of working collaboratively and classifying/organizing to arrange these images or words into what their group thinks is an appropriate sequence.
  • Have students use appropriate vocabulary to describe their sequences to other groups or the whole class.
  • Have student’s use the skill of comparing/contrasting to evaluate their sequence with others and rethink if and how they might change the order of the steps/stages.
  • If relevant, have students identify whether there is a pattern to their sequence.

Variations 

  • Each student could physically move with his/her cards/self-sticking adhesive note to form the group’s sequence.
  • Have students use the skill of predicting to make predictions about if and how their sequences could continue.
  • Place sheets of chart paper around the room, each representing a particular sequence. Randomly place self-sticking adhesive note cards, with the events of the sequence, on the chart paper. Assign a group of students to each station and have the students work collaboratively to organize the events into the correct sequence. Afterwards, groups could move from station to station assessing each sequence to determine the accuracy of each sequence. 

Related Skills

  • Observing
  • Sorting & Classifying
  • Predicting
  • Using Appropriate Vocabulary

References

Kagan, S. & Kagan, M. (1998). Multiple intelligences: The complete MI book. Kagan.

Parry, T., & Gregory, G. (1998). Designing brain-compatible learning. SkyLight.