Sequence maps are great for reading and writing!
In my classroom I use them mostly for organizing and writing summaries and essays.
I teach my students to think of the skill "sequence" when they read "summarize" in a writing task or prompt. They've understood that in order to successfully summarize you need a well organized sequencing map. Having students create a sequencing map prior to writing a summary allows them to see their main events at a glance. This can help ensure that they have the actual main events, and not irrelevant ones. When beginning, I teach my students to use a sequence map without the detail sub-boxes. I find this useful because at this time my students are learning what details are important, and what details are irrelevant. Having those detail boxes at first, only encourages my students to fill them out with non-meaningful content.
Below are a few ways I make completing sequencing maps engaging in my classroom:
Provide the main ideas, and have students work in groups to put them in order.
Have students record the main ideas on post-it notes, and stick them in the correct order.
Provide students with main ideas, and non-main ideas, and have students work with a partner to determine what's important and what's not.
Have students create a sequence map for one chapter of a book, then condense those events into one event box for the whole book sequencing map.
Students will be more successful in summarizing once they've learned about complex, and compound sentences!
When using a sequencing map to help students organize their writing, the detail boxes are very important. They allow students to provide details and depth to their writing. This helps students make sure their writing is thought out and has meaning. It also helps students provide grade-level writing.
*MY FAVORITE SUMMARY ACTIVITY*
My students always have trouble combining more than one event in a sentence. I use my multi-event sequencing map, and then we work together as a class to combine events making a compound/complex sentence.