School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 2

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

Indicator 3. Develop knowledge of organizational structure of informational text to understand what is read

Objective c. Recognize sequential and chronological order


The teacher will select an informational text that is organized in sequential order. After a developmentally appropriate shared reading of the text, the teacher will explain to students that sometimes authors organize their information in the order that events happen. When readers become aware of that order it helps them to better understand and remember the important facts about the topic. For example, the teacher might read the book, From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman. After the initial shared reading, the teacher will show the students sentence strips that have the major steps of the life cycle of the butterfly on them, like below:

From Caterpillar to Butterfly
Caterpillar started out as a tiny egg.
Caterpillar hatched and ate parts of the green plants.
Caterpillar grew and molted about 4 or 5 times.
Caterpillar attaches to a branch and makes a hard shell (chrysalis).
Inside the chrysalis the caterpillar slowly changes.
A butterfly cracks out of the chrysalis.
The butterfly hangs on the chrysalis shell while it flaps its wings so they straighten out and dry.
The butterfly flies outside and sips nectar from the flowers.
If the butterfly is female she might lay an egg and the cycle will go again.

Using the text, the students will place the events in the pockets of a pocket chart in the order that they happened. Students will note that the events go from the beginning of the book to the end. It makes sense to tell the process this way because it helps the reader to get a clear picture in their head. For students not reading, the teacher may provide pictures representing the major events and have students use the text to put them in the order that they occurred. For advanced students, the teacher may introduce a cycle organizer, such as the one below.

sequence chain


In the small group reading setting, the teacher will select instructional level informational text that is written in sequential or chronological order. Following a first read and discussion, the students will organize the information on an appropriate graphic organizer. See examples below:

graphic organizer

The teacher will model the use of the organizer by entering the first one or two entries, then guide pairs as they add 1-2 more entries, and finally observe and coach as needed as the students independently complete the organizer.


Writing a set of directions, as a class activity can reinforce detecting sequence in reading. Have students suggest the steps in a process and record the steps on sentence strips. Have students arrange the steps into the most logical sequence using a pocket chart. After rereading to make sure that all steps in the process have been included, use a shared writing process to create the written set of directions. Make a class decision about using numbered steps or connecting the thoughts with signal words.


Use a timeline, to guide students to write a narrative informational piece. Model the opening of the piece and have students begin their own copies. Direct students to use the important facts from the timeline to construct their drafts. Once students have drafted, teach a revision lesson on sequence signal words and transitions. Direct students to revise their pieces for sentence fluency by incorporating appropriate signal words and transitions into their writing.