Sequencing Secrets!

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Recently someone tweeted an image of their students doing a “lyric puzzle” from one of my “Song of the Week” resource packets. Many people have asked about this activity so I wanted to share with you how you can create your own! Sequencing activities are a great way to have your students re-read and process a text in a new and novel way. When done in this format they are kinesthetic and a great way to bring a little cooperative learning into the mix in your classroom.

This activity works great with ANYTHING that forms a sequence. I use it for listening to songs, for recalling a process, or for recalling events in a story.

The first step is to type up a list of statements or lyrics that are in a sequence. I think 10-20 is best. Keep it a lower amount if your students have lower proficiency in the target language.

The next step is to come up with a “secret phrase”. If you have 15 items, your secret phrase can have 15 letters. I like to make the phrases related to the topic, in the target language, and not super easy for students to guess. If students are lower level or the activity is rather difficult, you CAN make the message a little more obvious or even in English. Your call. If you come up with a great 14- or 16-letter message, just subtract one or add one more event to the sequence! No problem!

Next, I make a table in Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. I set it for 2 columns and as many rows as I have phrases. Or, if you prefer cards rather than strips, you can make 2 narrower tables side by side or one 4-column table (hopefully that makes sense). You can also just make a big grid and put the letters of the phrase in the beginning and make them a larger, bolder font.

In the column on the left, I put the letters spelling out the message. On the right, I paste the corresponding phrases. They will be in the correct sequence. If you plan to cut them up yourself, that’s fine. If students will cut them, mix them up so they don’t know the answers!

Here is an example from the song “Tútú” by Camilo and Pedro Capó:

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Cut the cards or strips of paper apart and distribute the card sets to small groups of students.

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For song lyrics, students can listen to the song repeatedly until a group has completed the puzzle.

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This activity also works great for a story review! Here is an example of a sequencing activity for the story of Snow White with a secret message.

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I hope this explanation was helpful! Please leave me a comment if you have any questions!

3 comments

  1. Kristy, I’m thinking about buying your ‘Super Bundle’ of songs on TpT and have a question for you. I teach lower level classes; do you teach upper levels? Would I be able to use these for Spanish 1? Please email me at kgriffith@lccdayschool.com Thanks!

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