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Language and Communication Language of order in space eg first last middle end  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


The child demonstrates understanding and use of spatial language of order - first next last beginning middle end and begins to relate these to their meanings in time

Early years skill:Shape, space and measure
Early years typical range:40-60+m
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:Maths Shape Space and Measures
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:P8
TAP skill:Language
TAP level:TAP48
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Sammy Snake's Shopping

Toy snake (or some other character)


3 each of fruit, vegetables, cooked foods.

Whiteboard and pen

1. Set out the food in a row of 3, each different type on a different table.

2. Explain to the children that Sammy Snake is hungry, but doesn't know the names of the foods. He needs them to listen to what he says and go and get him the food he wants, in the basket.

3. The children take it in turn to go shopping with the basket. Sammy gives instructions e.g. 'I want the first fruit and the last vegetable'.

4. The children can take a turn to be Sammy.

Monkey's Washing

Monkey (or some other character)

Washing line


Some clothes (dolls clothes are good)

If any of the children have fine motor difficulties, you will need to help them with the pegs. You can also leave 3 pegs on the line to help with this.

Wind up toys race

3 wind up toys

'beginning' 'middle' 'end' written on cards and finishing line ribbon

First next last written on pictures of gold silver and bronze medals

Make sure the course isn't too long!

You may need to help the children wind up the toys.

You could keep score - e.g. how many times each toy came first / last.

You could video them with a digital camera to add interest if necessary, or to use later.

This activity will also help to build the link between order in space and order in time: the first toy over the line (time) will also be the first toy in the line of toys (space).

Visual Timetable

The visual timetable used in class, or in your small group / 1:1 session

This is not an activity in itself, but is easy to do when you are using the visual timetable.

By doing this activity you are helping to build the link between order in space - the order of the items on the visual timetable - and order in time - the order in which the items are actually done.

Life cycles

Pictures sequences of simple animal life cycles

First next last, beginning middle end prompt card / frame

This activity helps to build the link between order in time - the order in which simple events happen - and order in space - the order in which you put the steps in these events down on paper using the pictures.

For more activities to build links between a sequence of pictures and events, see: sequences three pictures showing a practical activity and picture sequencing".


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