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


29 Responses to Following Directions – Worksheets, Activities, Goals, and More

  1. Judi Strickland says:

    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 says:

    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. Sarah says:

    These activity sheets are very effective and helpful. I am a very thankful SLP : )


  4. Anonymous says:

    this is a great website for SLPs!


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

  6. Anonymous says:

    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.


  7. Pingback: Welcome to Free Language Stuff! « Free Language Stuff

  8. Anonymous says:

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


  9. Paul says:

    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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  12. Fiona says:

    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 !


  13. Thieast says:



  14. Anonymous says:

    thank you very much for this! these are really interesting and helpful =)


  15. Eman says:

    Many thanks for sharing this great materials.


  16. romie says:

    thanks for this information//


  17. Anonymous says:

    i love these worksheets! they work very well for my ESL class. Thanks


  18. Bea Toralba says:

    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


  19. “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


  20. Cess Gozo says:

    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. 🙂


  21. Anonymous says:

    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.


  22. Rageena says:

    Thank you so much for these wonderful worksheets..


  23. Melanie criss says:

    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?


  24. Terri says:

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


  25. Anonymous says:

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


  26. Anonymous says:

    Can you tell me what a gudedopawer is? PLEASE?


  27. Paul says:

    Some things it’s okay if you don’t know!


  28. Pingback: Following Directions Worksheet - Meshotelioma

  29. Christine S says:

    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.


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