4th Grade - Follow Multiple-step Instructions

Reading and Comprehension
Follow multiple-step instructions
Follow multiple-step instructions in a basic technical manual (e.g., how to use computer commands or video games).
The ability to comprehend or follow a multiple-step basic technical manual.

Building Blocks/Prerequisites


Sample Problems


What are instructions? (spoken or written statements to perform an operation)


What are multi-step instructions? (instructions with several parts or steps)


What are the similarities between directions and instructions? (they are very close synonym, and both have multiple meanings in other contexts)


What are the differences between directions and instructions? (directions are when you are directed or directing, and instructions are being instructed or instructing someone to do something – instruction is often associated with teaching, directions are often associated with location)


Why are directions and instructions important? (to maintain order, & structure; to accomplish tasks more effectively and efficiently)

Learning Tips


Play a “trick” on a single child or small group of children. Offer them a reward for who completes this “Pop Quiz” in time. You can make different variations of it, as long as you leave the directions as well as #s 1 and 12 the same. You can use any kind of paper. It’s a bit of learning the hard way.


DIRECTIONS: This is a timed test. You will be allowed only two minutes to complete it, therefore you must work quickly. Record your responses on this sheet of paper.

1. Read everything before you do anything.
2. Print your name in the upper right corner of your paper.
3. Draw two squares in the lower left corner.
4. Place an "x" in one square and an "o" in the other.
5. Write your grade level in the lower right corner.
6. Print today's date under your name.
7. Draw three circles in the upper left corner of your paper.
8. Divide each circle in half by drawing a line through the center horizontally.
9. Sign your name in the lower right corner.
10. Draw a circle around your signature.
11. Write your birthday under your signature.
12. Now that you have finished reading everything, do only as directed in the first sentence.


Discuss directions that we have to follow everyday, whether they be directions in traffic (e.g. signs, lights, street names, etc.), laws we abide by as a society (e.g. don’t steal, pay taxes, etc.), or even family rules (e.g. don’t talk to strangers, brush your teeth twice a day, etc.). Talk about what happens (the consequences) if you don’t follow directions – what the possible outcomes are (e.g. getting lost, confused, disoriented, etc.). Sure, you might skip to the end at times, but what about the process?


If your child has or has played video games, ask them how they figure out how to play… In every game, there is usually some kind of initial visual and/ or verbal directions of how to use the controls. Furthermore, reading manuals or online game guides for video games will tell you specific directions for passing certain levels, etc. If your child hasn’t already looked at these, have them practice following one exactly. Does it improve their performance and/ or experience?


When purchasing any electrical (e.g. coffee maker, DVD player, vacuum cleaner, etc.) or battery-operated item (watch, hand massager, automatic toothbrush, etc.) that comes with a manual (they don’t need to be expensive), help your child to see if the instructional manual assists you in using the purchased item.


With a map, give your child a starting place/ point, and have an ending point in your mind. Give them directions to that place, having them follow each step-by-step direction (e.g. turn left on Sutter, go past Overland, etc.). See if they made it to the “final destination”!

Extra Help Problems


What is a basic technical manual? (an instructional manual that tells you how to do something, whether it is for assembly, operation, or manipulation)


What are sequence words that describe order of directions or instructions? (first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, then, next, finally, last, etc.)


What does precise mean? (specific, accurate, detailed, exact, etc.)


What does effective mean? (successful, useful, helpful, etc.)


What does efficient mean? (well-organized, resourceful, proficient, not wasteful, etc.)


What are real-world examples where directions and instructions are used? (driving; appliances; television, radio, newspaper writing (media); etc.)


When you program something, what are you doing? (encoding, instructing, training)


When you assemble something, what are you doing? (put together, fit together, build)


When you make something, what are you doing? (creating, constructing, preparing)


What happens when you don’t follow directions? (you can get lost or confused)


Why is it important to read and understand the directions before starting a task, project, test, etc.? (so that you don’t make mistakes)


What are real-world examples of places we read instructions? (cooking, assembling items, playing games, assignments, etc.)


Related Games


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