Archive for December, 2020

Stories that Sequence Events

If you’re seeking some extra activities for the holidays, consider having your elf write a sequencing story. Sequencing is an important learning concept, as it helps a child understand the value of directions and order of operations. Most things work better in a sequence — from math problems to science experiments to making your bed (oh, you’ve never made it) to riding a bike.

To begin, check out some fun reads:

IT’S ALL ABOUT ME-OW by Hudson Talbott

This book, narrated by a cat, helps kittens understand how to grow up successfully and train their humans. There’s a little cat history, a cat family tree, engaging illustrations, and witty cat banter throughout. Even if you’re a dog person by nature, this picture book is a winner.

ALL YOU NEED FOR A SNOWMAN by Alice Schertle and Barbara Lavallee

Perfect for December, this book takes readers on a lyrical how-to for building a snowman, complete with meter and internal rhyme. Check out the language: “Billions of snowflakes piled in a mound/pat them and pack them and roll them around/into one big ball.” There’s a clever repeat with the concept of EXCEPT that creates page turn intrique.

HOW TO SURVIVE AS A FIREFLY by Kristin Foote and Erica Salcedo

For the bug hunter in your house! This story is a mix of nonfiction and fiction, with a veteran firefly telling the larvae how to survive in a bug-eat-bug world. He’s funny and gruff at the same time. Kids will learn about metamorphsis, bioluminesence, an insect anatomy–with clever speech bubbles and cartoonish illustrations.

HOW TO CODE A SAND CASTLE by Josh Fund and Sarah Palacios

Perhaps you’ve read this title before–it’s been a big hit in the STEM picture book world, and for good reason. Successful coding is based on sequencing language. It combines coding language with great storytelling for a how-to on building a sand castle. If you haven’t introduced programming concepts to your tike, this is a fun way to do it.


Encourage your kiddos to find a topic they enjoy. Maybe it’s making a food item; maybe it’s a look at how to survive virtual. Whatever it is, look for major points of the process, consider sequences, and finally, seek out the joy or humor in the topic. What could go wrong? Finally, add illustrations.


Show your kids how you use how-to and sequencing in your life. Where to look:
–Did you get an electronic device for the holidays and need to set it up–there’s likely a set of directions.
–Did you buy an IKEA bookcase? It comes with a set of directions (good luck with those, by the way).
–Are you doing any new training for work? There’s probably a procedure you’re following.

And, if anyone out there creates a manual of how to survive the holidays in the house, with your family, while following Covid-19 advice and restrictions, please send it our way. We could use a few tips!

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