Looking for the best picture books to teach sequencing to read with your kids? Here are some great picture books to teach sequence in books through read alouds or for students to read. Ideas for elementary school teachers looking for children’s books with simple sequences through more complex sequencing including lesson plans and activities! Great for Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade.
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Picture Books to Teach Sequencing:
Being able to retell a story in a sequence is an essential skill for students. Teaching sequencing doesn’t need to be difficult, though! Here are some great picture books to teach sequencing with books that follow simple patterns. If you’re looking for other resources for teaching sequencing choose your grade level:
Here’s the books!
For the youngest learners, you need REALLY simple sequences, but you also don’t want anything TOO simple. Here are some great ones for students just learning to sequence:
Bear Came Along by Richard Morris
Once there was a river flowing through a forest. The river didn’t know it was capable of adventures until a big bear came along. But adventures aren’t any fun by yourself, and so enters Froggy, Turtles, Beaver, Racoons, and Duck. These very different animals take off downstream, but they didn’t know they needed one another until thankfully, the river came along.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
If a hungry little mouse shows up on your doorstep, you might want to give him a cookie. And if you give him a cookie, he’ll ask for a glass of milk. He’ll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache, and then he’ll ask for a pair of scissors to give himself a trim….
The Carrot Seed
When a little boy plants a carrot seed, everyone tells him it won’t grow. But when you are very young, there are some things that you just know, and the little boy knows that one day a carrot will come up. So he waters his seed, and pulls the weeds, and he waits…
The Napping House
In the napping house is a cozy bed piled high with a snoring granny, a dreaming child, a dozing dog, a snoozing cat, and a slumbering mouse. What could be more comfy?
All is at peace until a wakeful flea crawls into the mix. One beastly bite from him and the entire pyramid of sleepers might topple. Is he getting ready to nibble?
Room on the Broom
The witch and her cat couldn’t be happier, flying through the sky on their broomstick-until the witch drops her hat, then her bow, then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items and all they want in return is a ride on the broomstick. But is there room on the broom for so many new friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from the clutches of a hungry dragon?
More Complex Sequencing Picture Books:
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Knocked from her mother’s safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird’s nest. This adorable baby fruit bat’s world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits. Two pages of notes at the end of the story provide factual information about bats.
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
“I am the queen!”
Lilly loves all sorts of things. She loves school, she loves dressing up, she even grows to love her stinky baby brother, Julius. In fact, Lilly loves everything! But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse to school and can’t wait until sharing time to show off the purse and her movie star sunglasses, her teacher, Mr. Slinger, has to take away her prized possessions.
Lilly’s fury leads her to draw a mean picture of her favorite teacher. It isn’t until Mr. Slinger gives her belongings back to her with a kind note and snacks that Lilly realizes she owes Mr. Slinger an apology. A great book for back to school!
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Students will argue about the ending and it provides a great opportunity to discuss inferring!
Miss Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard
The kids in Room 207 were misbehaving again. Spitballs stuck to the ceiling. Paper planes whizzing through the air. They were the worst-behaved class in the whole school.
So begins this quirky classic, first published in 1977 and still relevant today as a lighthearted reminder to show our appreciation to those we value. The students don’t proffer a shred of respect for their good-natured teacher Miss Nelson, but when the witchy substitute Miss Viola Swamp appears on the scene, they start to regret their own wicked ways.
The Mitten by Jan Brett
When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing. One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse and what happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax. As the story of the animals in the mitten unfolds, the reader can see Nicki’s snowy outing in the borders of each page. As you plan out your year of books to read aloud to your first graders, this is definitely one of the best books to read in winter!
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
“Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy.” So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk . . . and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older, he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave.
Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari is inventing a machine that will fly all the way across the yard! But making it go from CRASH to WHOOSH will take grit, patience, and maybe even a little help from his sister.
Jabari is making a flying machine in his backyard! “It’ll be easy. I don’t need any help,” he declares. But it doesn’t work! Jabari is frustrated. Good thing Dad is there for a pep talk and his little sister, Nika, is there to assist, fairy wings and all. With the endearing father-child dynamic of Jabari Jumps and engaging mixed-media illustrations, Gaia Cornwall’s tale shows that through perseverance and flexibility, an inventive thought can become a brilliant reality.
Where Butterflies Fill the Sky
Zahra lives in a beautiful place where the desert reaches all the way to the sea and one hundred butterflies always fill the sky. When Baba and Mama tell her that their family is no longer welcome here and they must leave, Zahra wonders if she will ever feel at home again–and what about the people she will leave behind? But when she and her family arrive in a new desert, she’s surprised to find magic all around her. Home might not be as far away as she thought it would be.
Click Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin
Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears click, clack, MOO. Click, clack, MOO. Clickety, clack, MOO. But Farmer Brown’s problems REALLY begin when his cows start leaving him notes….
Wordless Picture Books:
One Little Bag by Henry Cole
From a tall tree growing in the forest–to the checkout counter at the grocery store–one little bag finds its way into the hands of a young boy on the eve of his first day of school.
And so begins an incredible journey of one little bag that is usedand reusedand reused again.
In a three-generation family, the bag is transporter of objects and keeper of memories. And when Grandfather comes to the end of his life, the family finds a meaningful new way for the battered, but much-loved little bag to continue its journey in the circle of life. A great story for Earth Day to talk about recycling.
Journey by Aaron Becker
A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire?
An amazing wordles picture book!
How This Book Was Made by Mac Barnett
A book about what it’s actually like to be an author told in the funniest, truest way possible? Sign me up! You may think you know how this book was made, but you don’t. Sure, the author wrote many drafts, and the illustrator took a long time creating the art, but then what? How’d it get into your hands? Well, open the cover and read through these pages to find out. Just beware of the pirates and angry tiger. Budding writers and artists will laugh at the mix of reality and the absurd as the story makes its way to a shelf…and eventually, to a reader. Looking for children’s books about perseverance? Look no further than the real the true experience of publishing a children’s book.
Nonfiction Books for Sequencing:
Me…Jane by Patrick Mcdonnell
In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of “a life living with and helping all animals,” until one day she finds that her dream has come true. This is an amazing book to read during Women’s History Month or as a read aloud for Earth Day!
Best Picture Books to Teach Sequencing
What are some of your favorite picture books to teach sequencing? Are there any must read picture books to teach sequencing that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!