Sequencing and summarising

Sequencing ideas in logical order will improve a text's cohesiveness and aid summarising skills.

The students can:

  • identify sequencing language
  • listen to a passage and summarise the key ideas in a logical order
  • create a still frame image to portray a section of a story
  • use still frame photos to sequence a story
  • follow directions in a recipe to make a food product and then write a procedure.

Activity 1: sequencing language line

At the beginning of the lesson the teacher is to stick language cards underneath chairs with Blu Tack (or just hand out to students if there isn’t enough time). These cards should contain the following language: firstly, then, next, after, finally, while, lastly, thirdly, following, before, later. (Note: each card contains one word)

Students then look under their chairs and if they have a card they are to stand up and place their card where they think it would go on the sequencing language line using a peg on a piece of string – two other students to hold it up. Students could then make up a short story including at least 4 of the words. Share as a class.

Activity 2: listening and summarising

The teacher is to read out the following passage. Students are not allowed to write anything the first time as they are just to listen. Then in their writing books they are to jot down the key points in a sequential order when the teacher reads the passage again for the second time. The teacher is to select a few students to share their points with the rest of the class and the class decides whether the points are sequential and all included.

A group of frogs was travelling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, 'Did you not hear us?' The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

Activity 3: still frame images

On the interactive whiteboard (IWB) or computer (or print out the story) show Dust Echoes story: The Mimis. Arrange the students into groups of 4–5. Split the story into the number of groups that you have and allocate them a section of the story with a key point. The groups then form a still frame image to portray that section of the story to the rest of the class using body movement and facial expressions. Teacher is to take a photo of the groups and then print them off onto a single/double sided document for each student. Then underneath each image, the students write a few sentences of what is happening in each photograph and use sequencing connectives for each photo.

Note: A different Dreaming story can be selected that is more relevant to the region if wanted.

Activity 4: procedures

The whole class makes a recipe, such as Johnny Cakes

You could choose an Aboriginal recipe representative of the Aboriginal region.

Once students have made the recipe they write a procedure of the recipe from memory, ensuring they are correctly sequencing the steps taken and including sequencing connectives. A graphic organiser can be used if needed to help scaffold the students’ writing.


These additional resources may be useful.


Australian curriculum – ACELA1491: Text structure and organisation: Understand how texts are made cohesive through the use of linking devices including pronoun reference and text connectives.

NSW syllabus – EN2-4A: Understand how texts are made cohesive through the use of linking devices including pronoun reference and text connectives.

NSW literacy continuum – Comprehension, Cluster 8, Marker 6: Articulates the main idea and provides a synthesised retell that captures key events in texts.

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