Following Directions – Worksheets, Activities, Goals, and More

One Possible Hierarchy

Basic Worksheets and Activities

Click on picture to view a small preview of each activity. Click on Doc or PDF to download worksheets in preferred format.

(1) (2) (3) (4)

(5)(6) (7)

(1) “I don’t know” Activity 1 Doc PDF;     (2) “I don’t know” Activity 2 Doc PDF;     (3) Comprehension Questions – Days of the Week Doc PDF; (4) Comprehension Questions – Months Doc PDF;     (5) Comprehension Questions – Numbers Doc PDF;     (6) Feedback – Basic Doc PDF ;     (7) Feedback #2 Doc PDF;

Additional Worksheets and Activities

Click on picture to view a small preview of each activity. Click on Doc or PDF to download worksheets in preferred format.

(1)unless-and-if-foll-directions-4(2)complex directions thumb (3)tricky-directions-2 (4)tricky-directions-3 (5)contrasting conjunctions and or thumb (6)(7) (8) 

(1)Unless and If Doc PDF;     (2) Complex Directions Doc PDF ;    (3) “Trick” Directions 1 Doc PDF;     (4) “Trick Directions” 2 Doc PDF;    (5) And and Or Doc PDF;     (6) Checklist Doc PDF ;     (7) Category Directions Activity – Basic 1:  Doc PDF ;      (8) Category Directions Activity – Basic 2 Doc PDF

Expanded Directions Comprehension Strips

Click on picture to view a small preview of each activity. Click on Doc or PDF to download worksheets in preferred format.

(1)(2) (3) (4)

(1) Expanded Directions 1 DocPDF;     (2)  Expanded Directions 2 DocPDF ;     (3)   Expanded Directions 3 DocPDF;     (4) Expanded Directions 4 DocPDF

comp galore cards sentence comprehension ad 1

Background Information

Following directions involves using short term memory to hold known information while manipulating this information using language.  Some types of words appear more frequently in directions than others – conjunctions, negatives, adjectives, and prepositions, for example, are often used in directions.  Nearly every test item on one of the most commonly used assessments of following directions, the CELF-4’s Concepts and Following Directions subtest, uses some combination of conjunctions, negatives, and prepositions.  These concepts are particularly critical in academic directions.

The ability to follow any specific direction depends upon the ability to comprehend the specific words within the direction.  Not all one step directions are created equal.  For example, a one step direction containing a negative is often more difficult than one with a similarly placed adjective.

Obviously, following directions also requires aspects outside the domain of language, such as motivation, interest, and attention.   Increasing proficiency in language should provide a natural boost to these overlapping aspects.

Goal Suggestions

Cleopatra will follow basic one step directions with functional vocabulary with _____ accuracy as measured by SLP criterion referenced assessment and SLP/ teacher/ parent observation.

Marc will follow basic and expanded one step directions with curriculum relevant vocabulary…

Julius will follow basic and expanded two step directions with age appropriate curriculum relevant vocabulary…

Brutus will follow age appropriate complex directions including targeted syntax structures, such as prepositions, conjunctions, and negatives with _______ accuracy…

Functional Activity Ideas

31 thoughts on “Following Directions – Worksheets, Activities, Goals, and More

  1. Judi Strickland

    I am a literacy tutor looking for specific “follow instructions” exercises for adults (ESL). We gear our conversation classes to the 6th to 8th grades. Anything specific would be very helpful especially if it includes listening skills as well. Thank You.


  2. Jane

    Thank you for sharing these as free language resources. I am putting together a pack of language resources for a family I am working with who will be moving to Bangladesh as missionaries. They have no access to Speech Therapy and this has provided me with many useful tools to share with them. Thank you so much!


  3. Pingback: Following Directions: How Hard Can That Be? « ADHD and School Success

  4. Anonymous

    THANK YOU for sharing this great web site. These are great worksheets and really provide lots of opportunities for teaching specific skills in more realistic settings.
    THANK YOU- Pippa in Adams12 school district, Colorado.


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  6. Anonymous

    Please help, discrepancy in understanding question # 5, from page 5. Is there a master???


  7. Paul Post author

    The word, “day” should be the word “number.” I’ve changed it on the doc and the PDF. Thanks for pointing out the error.


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  10. Fiona

    My son is 10 and I am using these worksheets for him at home , they are right on track for his needs ( Receptive and Expressive Language delays )
    Thank you !


  11. Thieast



  12. Bea Toralba

    Thank you very much for these great worksheets. I am an ESL teacher and I intend to use these materials as a motivational activity for my students. They are very effective and useful. =)
    — Bea Toralba, Manila, Philippines



    “Following Directions – Worksheets, Activities,
    Goals, and More Free Language Stuff” really causes me personally contemplate a somewhat
    further. I appreciated every particular portion of it.
    Thank you -Filomena


  14. Cess Gozo

    Can anyone please give me a key to correction to trick direction #3 and trick direction #4? because my professor wants the key to correction from who create this activities. Thank you, hoping for a quick response as soon as possible. 🙂


  15. Anonymous

    These sheets are great! They are a great resource to use with my ESL students to learn how to not only following written directions, but also oral.


  16. Melanie criss

    Does anyone have any resources that describe age expectations for following basic one-step, expanded one-step, basic two-step, expanded two-step, and complex directions?


  17. Terri

    Hi Paul,
    Do you have answer sheets for the above pdf’s? The Unless/If was tricky!! Thanks! 🙂


  18. Anonymous

    thank you for sharing this to us. By the time I answered my exam tomorrow morning I have confident.


  19. Pingback: Following Directions Worksheet - Meshotelioma

  20. Christine S

    LOVE these, especially the “tricky directions” for my middle schoolers who love to gloss over directions and then miss half a question (example: answer the following ….then explain how you ….). They will answer but miss the explanation part. I’m teaching my kids with LD to parse components in directions and circle key words which is so applicable to their classroom content given the multiple, complexly worded steps.


  21. Seema Ganjoo

    As an autism mom and now a parent trainer to other autism parents, i like sharing great websites with them. This is by far the most helpful ever. Thank you so much. Keep up the great work!


  22. Marta Barata

    I need to know where did you get that table from! It’s very good!, but I would like to know the Bibliography, please!


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