• CC-Basics pages 22 - 29



  • Recognize the correct sequence of steps

  • Follow directions and instructions

  • Understand how directions and instructions are organized

Key Concept

  • How-To texts and instructions explain how to make something or how to do something.


Tier 2 Diagram
Tier 3 Sequence

Writing Practice

  • Sequence of Events

  • Signal Words

Before Lesson

Students have learned that business documents contain facts and details and are used for a variety of purposes. Ask students to share experiences they have had with following the directions in a document. Ask: What about the document made following the steps easy or difficult?


Tell students that a good how- to text or instructional text states a goal and then clearly gives the steps to explain how to reach that goal. Explain that reading this type of text involves three key strategies: identify the main idea or goal, recognize the steps necessary to reach that goal, and follow the steps in the order in which they are given. Ask students if they have used these strategies before and if so, when.

Guided Practice

  • How-To and Instructions

Core Skill

Sequence of Events: Read the instructions with students. Point out sequence words, such as first, then, now, and finally. After students make their numbered lists in their notebooks, have them compare their lists. Have students’ trade papers and check to make sure that no steps were left out.

Understanding Diagrams: Read aloud the passage about clearing a paper jam and tell students to listen for the sequence words. Have them work with a partner to create the sequence diagram. Have partners show their diagrams to the class and explain the steps. Listeners should offer constructive feedback about the order of steps in the diagrams.


Signal Words: Tell students that directions and steps in instructions are introduced by signal or linking words. Write the signal words then, next, before, and after on the board and give examples of their use.

Collect and Display: Have students draw diagrams to represent their how-to instructions. Tell them to identify which step in their process would be most useful if shown in diagram form.

Lesson Review