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Language and Communication Use first next last when describing a sequence in time  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


The child will use the vocabulary, "first", "next" and "last" to describe sequencing pictures.

Early years skill:Shape, space and measure
Early years typical range:40-60+m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:Maths Shape Space and Measures
P-scales/Curriculum level:P8
TAP skill:Expressive Language
TAP level:TAP48
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments

3 step sequencing pictures, for example LDA sequencing sets, Colorcards sequencing pictures or Black Sheep Press 3-step sequencing pictures;

Sheet with 3 columns labelled "first", "next" and "last":

first next last

1. Mix up the cards from one set

2. Ask the child to put the pictures in order on the sheet.

3. Describe what's happening. Model the use of the words "first", "next" and "last", stressing them slightly (e.g. "in the first picture, the girl is going to eat the apple.")

4. Ask the child to describe what's happening and remind him/her to use the words "first", "next" and "last".

If the child finds it difficult to remember whether to put the pictures in order from left to right, or right to left, you can draw a large arrow (→) on the sheet. Numbering the boxes 1-3 can also help.

Write it

Copies of sequencing pictures;

Copies of sheet as above;


Pen or pencil;

1. Carry out the activity as above, but this time, stick pictures on a copy of the sheet.

2. Ask the child to write a sentence or dictate the sentence to be written below each one

You need to use copies of the sequencing pictures that it is OK to glue on to the sheet.


Sheet as above;


Take photos of the child carrying out an activity and use as in either of the two activities above.

Using photos is especially helpful for children who find it hard to see that the sequencing pictures show the same object in different situations, rather than 3 different objects

Suitable activities to photograph could include:

Changing for PE,

Drawing/painting a picture,

Eating an apple (or other food),

Building a tower (and knocking it down),

Taking the register to the office,

Handing out equipment to the class,

Making a model out of Lego, Sticklebricks, K'nex etc.,

Draw it

Copies of sheet as above,

Pens, pencils etc.

1. Ask the child to talk through a familiar activity.

2. Ask them to draw all the steps on a copy of the sheet.

3. Ask them to describe what is happening, using the words "first", "next" and "last".

It is important to talk it through first so that the child has a clear sense of the sequence before putting pen to paper.

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