After reading the “Historic Trends” portion of the web resource, students are challenged to unpack their learning by sequencing a series of events discovered on the website. The activity asks students to work in pairs or groups to arrange 20 concepts in the order in which they occurred. This activity is based on the historical record of commercial and recreational fishing of striped bass.

Teacher Note: The sort cards are followed by an answer key. Keep a copy for reference. You may want to enlarge the cards on a photocopier prior to cutting and laminating. This activity may require students to reference the web resource several times. You might have the students attempt to sequence the cards prior to investigating the historical time line and then have the students rearrange the cards once they have investigated the historical time line. The sorting will take approximately 15 minutes but allow about 45 minutes if you include the investigation of the historical time line as part of the lesson. 




  1. Cut the page of 20 events into individual cards. (Make the number of sets necessary to accommodate your class)
  2. Students may work in pairs or in groups to sequence the cards in the order that they occurred historically.  
  3. The second set of cards gives the numerical order that the cards should be place in.

National Science Education Standards

9-12 A: Science as Inquiry

9-12 C: Life Science

9-12 E: Science and Technology

9-12 F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

9-12 G: History and Nature of Science

Lesson Resources

word icon Historic Trends Sort Cards

Striped Bass module Explore Trends web page