Identifying Sequence of Events | Reading
Sequencing is an important skill for one to master, and a skill that is emphasized on the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ Reading subtest. Sequencing is the practice of putting events, individuals, ideas, or events in a logical order. You sequence throughout your day, by arranging your schedule, and deciding where you need to go, first, second, next, and last.
Sequencing helps you understand what you’re reading and what is happening in the story. It should be noted that the organization of a text is different from the sequence of events. As seen in our previous post How Authors Organize Their Ideas, an author might not organize things chronologically, so the sequence of events might not always follow the organization of the text from start to finish. To help you become proficient in identifying the sequence of events in a text, practice these tips while reading:
Tips for Identifying Sequence of Events in a Text
- Before you begin reading, take a quick moment to skim or preview the text.
- As you read, adjust your reading speed to your comfort of the text.
- Take periodical breaks to check your comprehension on what you’ve just read. If you find you don’t understand a certain part of the text, backtrack and re-read for a better understanding.
- Talk yourself through difficult areas of the text by asking yourself questions such as, “What is the main idea the text is addressing?” Thinking through a problem by generating your own questions can often help you reach an answer faster, and with more understanding.
- Look for signal words in the text as you read, such as first, next, last, before, after and finally. These are key terms to aid in sequencing.
- Have a clean piece of paper with you as you read. As you’re understanding the story, draw yourself a Venn diagram, a storyboard, or a story map, like these examples from Reading Rockets. All of these methods can be useful to examine a text, show relationships within a text, and help you understand the story structure for a final summary. Visual learners can especially benefit from these techniques.
The ability to sequence events will also aid in problem-solving across subjects and situations. As you prepare for the TASC Reading subtest, think of the events you’re reading about as if you were recalling your day to someone.