How Do I Do It?

By Activity Bank on Nov 20, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Charlotte Cushman and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

In this activity, students will work on improving their sequencing skills and expanding their expressive language while they practice giving directions. Lessons include Concept Development, English Language Arts, and Independent Living Skills.


None required, although materials may be added according to the specific directions being given (e.g. toothbrush and toothpaste)


  • Tell students what you wish to accomplish, and ask them to give you directions to do it. For example, tell them you want to brush your teeth. Ask them what you need to do first, second and so on. Encourage the proper sequencing of steps. Here is an example:
    • Locate the sink.
    • Find the toothbrush and toothpaste.
    • Remove the cap from the toothpaste.
    • Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto the toothbrush, etc.
  • When they are finished outlining the steps involved, ask specific questions about the sequence: “What did I do first?” “What comes before removing the cap from the toothpaste?”


  • If possible, act out an activity following the students’ directions. You could pretend to brush your teeth and say, “I wonder why no toothpaste is coming out when I squeeze the tube.” (Student forgot to tell you to remove the cap.)
  • Have students take turns giving directions to each other.

Hint: Throughout the day, discuss the sequence of steps involved in routine activities: “What do you need to get before you go outside?”