What Are Behavioral Objectives? Part 2 of 5: The Scope and Sequence Chart


Tools for teaching students with learning disabilities, ADHD, ADD, Autism, Dyslexia or other “at-risk” students.

This is the second article in a five part series about Behavioral Objectives. The articles in order of publication are:

  1. Behavioral Objectives; An Overview
  2. The Scope and Sequence Chart
  3. Gantt Charts for Progress Planning
  4. Setting Standards of Achievement or Fluency
  5. Why This Component Works


Seafarers navigate using charts. Today those charts are mostly electronic and accurate to within a few inches. In earlier times, a mariners charts were much less precise. As discovery proceeded, information about coasts, islands, depths, currents and winds increased. Gradually, charts evolved becoming more exact and therefore more useful. Charts were also of great strategic value and were often kept very secret as empires expanded and vied for new territories. Charts were invaluable early ocean maps.

Scope and Sequence Charts

Example of Scope and Sequence Chart from Level 1A of Teach Your Children to Read Well

For educators, the Scope and Sequence Chart is another type of map. It is sometimes included in textbooks to inform the teacher about what is to be taught and the order in which concepts and applications will appear. A scope and sequence chart does exactly that. It lays out the scope of the material to be covered by the course and the order in which it will be presented. In many courses, this is limited to a Table of Contents. In others, the makeup of each lesson is provided as a set of tasks. Obviously the more depth and detail incorporated into a scope & sequence chart, the more useful it is, in the same way that detailed depths, lighthouses, and buoy markers assist the navigator of a ship.

A detailed scope and sequence chart allows the teacher to examine the instructional design of a program. They might agree or disagree with the order in which material is presented, but at least they have the information at hand to do so. Instructors can also use such a chart to see what is not included in a particular course. This too is valuable information.

The Secret Nature of Charts

Many parents are unfamiliar with scope and sequence charts because they are almost never shared by the teaching profession with the parents or caregivers. A little knowledge is seen to be a dangerous thing and providing parents with more explicit expectations and plans leads to greater and more specific accountability.

Maloney Method products always contain a detailed scope and sequence chart of what will be taught in what order to what level of proficiency so that our parents, teachers, therapists, homeschoolers, educational aides and volunteers always have a clear and complete picture of what is being undertaken.

Why is this useful?

  • It lays out a complete plan for the entire course.
  • It shows which tasks the teacher will present in which lessons, such as teaching sounds and sound combinations.
  • It shows that tasks are included in some lessons, excluded from others, but always retained as part of the overall set of behavioural objectives.
  • It shows specific tasks such as which sounds and sound combinations will be taught in which order until the last ones (sion, tion) are introduced in Lesson 51 of 60 lessons..
  • It confirms that we are not teaching short vowel sounds as a student’s first sounds. Doing so confuses many children because a,e, i,o, and u, as short vowels, sound a lot alike and lead to needless confusion as a result.
  • It confirms, instead, that we are teaching a, m and s as the first three sounds. These sounds do not look and/or sound alike and therefore are unlikely to become confused by the learner.
  • This chart provides the teacher with an insight into the instructional design and shows the care taken not to simultaneously introduce sounds and/or sound combinations that share visual or auditory characteristics.


The more we know, the more likely we are to reach our destination safely. Behavioral objectives provide a means to portray critical information to a variety of stakeholders. Scope and Sequence charts are the first level of application of the objectives or the program. They provide more detail and hold everyone to a more transparent operational plan for delivering learning. The next level, the Gantt Chart, adds additional clarity and accountability to the educational process. These tools are critical especially for children at risk of school failure.


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