Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Assessment
Lower Elementary
  • Lesson Plan
  • Retelling
  • SEEd
  • Sequence
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Retelling of The Tiny Seed

    Retelling of The Tiny Seed


    This is a lesson plan created to help students learn how to retell the events of a story using first, next, then, and last using the story The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Students are also learning the life cycle of a seed. 

    Summary: Literature Standard 2 In this lesson, students will be able to retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

    This lesson teaches students the process of sequencing a story using the words first, next, then, and last. The lesson provides opportunities for students to write, draw (or glue), listen, and speak. This could be also done virtually. 

    • Time frame: 45-60 Minutes
    • Format: face-to-face or virtual


    Background for Teachers

    To teach this lesson you must have a basic understanding of the life cycle of a seed:

    The seed falls from the plant, goes dormant for the winter, with sun and rain in the spring it spouts into a healthy plant if it isn't disturbed, in the summer it blooms.                       

    The teacher can watch or read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle 

    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes


    Students will be able to...

    Knowledge: The students will learn to retell a story using story elements to improve their comprehension of the story.

    Skills: Students will be able to identify the problem, solution, setting and the characters of the story. Students will use the basic story elements to help them retell the story.

    Step 2 - Planning Instruction


    Student Background Knowledge

    Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of:

    • sequence in a story
    • the words first, next, then, and last in context of retelling a story. 

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    Review any vocabulary from the book that might be difficult:

    • drift
    • settle
    • bud
    • autumn
    • spring
    • summer
    • winter
    • sways
    • sails

    Step 3 - Instruction

    Opening to Lesson

    • To introduce the sequencing lesson and gain students' attention, the teacher can tell a silly "out-of-order" story about his/her day. For example : "This morning, I woke up and ate dinner. Then, I put my pajamas on and went to school. Next , I brushed my teeth played with my friends".
    • This can lead into a conversation about the importance of putting events in order.
    • Introduce the concept of sequencing.

    Body of Lesson

    • Read the story "The Tiny Seed" by Eric Carle
    • Stop throughout the story to ask questions using Think-Pair-Share
      • What happens to the seed in autumn?
      • What carries the seed away?
      • What happens to the seed in winter?
      • What happens to the seed in the spring?
      • What does the seed need to grow?
      • What happens to the seed in the summer?
    • On the board or a large poster that already has the words first, second, next, then, and last written on it.  The words are ordered like a train.  There will be an arrow starting at first and pointing to last.
    • Use the pre-made story/picture cards to sequence the events in the story.
    • To check for understanding, you can intentionally place some cards in the incorrect place to see if students are following along.
    • You can use gestures and body language to help convey the words.
    • You can use slower speech with physical cues and clear articulation when approaching key topics.

    Guided Practice

    • Students will be divided into 4 groups.
    • Each group will be given an event from the story to illustrate.  They will work together to delegate responsibilities and roles.
    • After the students illustrate their scene, we will gather together on the rug.
    • Students will put the events in order.
    • They will use a bold marker to add the words first, second, next, then, and last to each drawing.
    • As a class, we will go over their work, as we order the events  by using the sequencing words (first, second, next, then, last).

    Independent Practice

    • Students will work independently to sequence the events from "The Tiny Seed".
    • Students can draw the sequence of events in the story or cut and paste. 
    • Students will be able to retell the story using their individual story boards. 

    Step 4 - Assessments

    Students will be able to correctly sequence the story and retell the story using first, next, then, and last on their story boards.