What is retell?

Figure 19D is about __________
What strategies are you using to
teach inferencing?
What poems have you read to your
class recently?
Retell is the oral reconstruction of a story you have
heard or read
In order to retell, students must:
★ activate knowledge of how stories work
★ recall & order information in a meaningful way
★ make inferences
★ draw conclusions
Source: Reading Rockets; Reed & Vaughn
Retelling is a distinct skill that differs from recalling,
summarizing, and paraphrasing
Relies on the student’s productive language abilities
Has been shown to be a more effective post-reading
activity for building comprehension than teacher
Source: Reed & Vaughn; Gambrell et al.
Retelling provides a foundation for
summarizing. Students must:
★ synthesize information
★ share stories in their own words
★ be aware of text organization
★ discern what is important in a text
★ determine relationships between ideas
Source: Reading Rockets
1. Teach the elements of a good retell
2. Teach vocabulary
3. Explicitly model retelling a story
4. Scaffold support (book→cues→memory)
5. Allow time to practice
6. Provide feedback
7. Extend learning (reread the story, learn new ways
to retell, read related stories)
Source: Karen Haag; Reading Rockets
where & when
Characters & main character and problems
Problems other characters that connect to main character
important events & rich details in sequence
how were the problems solved
feelings, reactions, & connections to the
& Evaluation lessons learned, moral/theme of the story
speaking fluency & expression
Presentation vocabulary from text
Source: Laura Robb
★ I can determine what is important to tell when retelling
a story.
★ I can retell the events of a story in sequence.
★ I can tell a story expressively, not using the words from
the book exactly, but in my own words and voice.
★ I can retell a story with correct facts.
Source: Karen Haag
Students use a flexible range of metacognitive reading skills in both
assigned and independent reading to understand an author’s message.
Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater depth in
increasingly more complex texts as they become self-directed, critical
readers. Students are expected to:
K - retell or act out important events in stories
1st - retell or act out important events in stories in
logical order
2nd - retell important events in stories in logical
Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the
structure and elements of fiction and provide evidence from text to support
their understanding. Students are expected to:
8A retell a main event from a
story read aloud
8B describe characters in the
story and the reasons for their
9A describe the plot and retell
9B describe characters in a
a story’s beginning, middle,
story and the reasons for their
and end with attention to the
actions and feelings
sequence of events
9A describe similarities and
differences in the plots and
settings of several works by
the same author
9B describe main characters in
works of fiction, including their
traits, motivations, and feelings
Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about theme and genre in
different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from
the text to support their understanding. Students are expected to:
6A identify elements
of a story including
setting, character,
and key events
6B identify the big idea
(theme) of a well-known
folktale or fable and connect
it to personal experience
7A connect the meaning of a
well-known story or fable to
personal experiences
7B explain the function of
recurring phrases (e.g., "Once
upon a time" or "They lived
happily ever after") in
traditional folk- and fairy tales.
6A identify moral lessons as
themes in well-known fables,
legends, myths or stories
6B compare different versions
of the same story in traditional
and contemporary folktales
with respect to their
characters, settings, and plot
★ Teach the elements of a good retell
○ introduce retell poster
★ Teach vocabulary
★ Read the story
★ Explicitly model retelling a story
○ retelling rope
★ Scaffold support (book→cues→memory)
○ retell with me & the book
★ Allow time to practice
○ practice with partner
○ retelling cards
★ Provide feedback
Source: Nancy Vandenberge
beginning, middle, end
setting, problem and solution
events and facts in sequence
infers to fill in missing information
causes of actions or events and their effects
Source: Reading Rockets
Before the lesson: Plan comprehension strategies (Figure 19)
establish purpose
ask questions
Today we will learn the elements of a
retell. We will practice retelling a story
in order with a partner.
Ask: Who are the main characters?
What is the problem?
What happened in the (BME) of this
monitor and adjust comprehension
make inferences
Listen to student responses & reread as
Ask: What does ___ want?
What lesson did ____ learn?
What is the theme of this story?
retell or summarize
make connections
Retell with partner
Ask: What connection can you make to
you? Another story?
★ Teach the elements of a good retell
set purpose
introduce retell poster
★ Scaffold support
○ retell with me & the book
★ Allow time to practice
★ Teach vocabulary
○ practice with partner
★ Read the story
○ retelling cards
ask questions
★ Provide feedback
make inferences
★ Extend
make connections
★ Explicitly model retelling a story
retelling rope
○ Reread the story
○ Offer new ways to practice
retelling the story
○ Read connecting stories
Sing a song that tells
about Goldilocks & warns
kids about going into
someone else’s house
puppet show
Create puppets and put
on a show about
Work with some friends
to help you act out the
story of Goldilocks
With your partner:
Read the story
Practice the retell strategy
Be prepared to present your retell
using the strategy
Create cards with pictures, words, or labels
Use cards to assist in retelling the story
Source: Karen Haag,
Pictures: Scholastic
Retell the story using your fingers as guide
Who was the story about?
Where did it take place?
What happened at the beginning?
What happened in the middle?
What happened at the end of the story?
Create an anchor chart for this strategy
Source: University of Pittsburgh School of Education
Create a bracelet using a green bead for the beginning, a
red bead for the ending and 3 or more other beads for the
As you retell a story, slide a bead from left to right for the
beginning and then another bead for each story
pipe cleaners,
Source: Kim Turgeon & Lauren Mitsis
Retell using the acronym S.T.O.R.Y.
S - Setting
T - Talking characters
O - Oops! A problem!
R - Resolution
Y - Yes! Woohoo!
Create picture cards for each letter to use as prompts during
the retell
Source: Victoria Naughton & MsJordanReads
beginning, middle, end
setting, problem and solution
events and facts in sequence
infers to fill in missing information
causes of actions or events and their effects
retell important actions or events in a sequence
make inferences to account for events or actions
offer an evaluation of the story
Source: Reading Rockets
What really matters?
What are the big ideas?
Are there relevant details?
How can I best order my retell?
What do listeners need to learn from
this story?
Is there anything unnecessary?
★ Eight years old
★ Eats Kibbles N Bits dog food
★ Black collar
★ Favorite toy is a stuffed shark
★ Likes kids
★ Last seen at school playground
★ Has a tag labeled Baxter
Wags his tail a lot
Likes to cuddle
Likes to hide in small places
Knows how to sit and beg
Loves to ride in the car
Smallest puppy in the litter
★ Black collar
★ Last seen at school
★ Has a tag labeled Baxter
★ Likes to hide in small places
Call 123-456-7890
As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
He went and knocked on Grandma's door.
When Grandma opened it, she saw
The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, ``May I come in?''
Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
``He's going to eat me up!'' she cried.
And she was absolutely right.
He ate her up in one big bite.
But Grandmamma was small and tough,
And Wolfie wailed, ``That's not enough!
I haven't yet begun to feel
That I have had a decent meal!''
He ran around the kitchen yelping,
``I've got to have a second helping!''
Then added with a frightful leer,
``I'm therefore going to wait right here
Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood
Comes home from walking in the wood.''
He quickly put on Grandma's clothes,
(Of course he hadn't eaten those).
He dressed himself in coat and hat.
He put on shoes, and after that
He even brushed and curled his hair,
Then sat himself in Grandma's chair.
In came the little girl in red.
She stopped. She stared. And then she said,
``What great big ears you have, Grandma.''
``All the better to hear you with,'' the Wolf
``What great big eyes you have, Grandma.''
said Little Red Riding Hood.
``All the better to see you with,'' the Wolf
He sat there watching her and smiled.
He thought, I'm going to eat this child.
Compared with her old Grandmamma
She's going to taste like caviar.
Then Little Red Riding Hood said, ``But
what a lovely great big furry coat you have
``That's wrong!'' cried Wolf. ``Have you forgot
To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?
Ah well, no matter what you say,
I'm going to eat you anyway.''
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature's head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, ``Hello, and do please note
My lovely furry wolfskin coat.''
With your team:
★ Summarize the story.
○ What are the big ideas?
○ Are there relevant details?
★ Evaluate which elements are important enough to be
○ What do listeners need to learn from this story?
○ Is there anything unnecessary?
★ Line up in sequence to present the retell.
○ How can we best order the retell?
Students write literary texts to express their ideas & feelings
about real or imagined people, events, & ideas. Students are
expected to:
K.14A - dictate or write sentences to tell a story
and put the sentences in chronological sequence
1.18A & 2.18A - write brief stories that include a
beginning, middle, and end
Think of a meaningful
Retell the story across
your fingers
Sketch pictures for the
Add labels
Add short sentences
Add detailed sentences
I got a cat.
Last Christmas, my
parents gave me an
orange, fluffy cat. I
named him
With your partner/team
One person will model, as the others listen:
Thinking of a story
Retell with fingers
Sketch the story with labels
Write short sentences
1. Plan a lesson using a retell strategy you learned today
★ Teach the elements of a good retell (set purpose)
★ Teach vocabulary
★ Read the story (ask questions, make inferences & connections)
★ Explicitly model retelling (pick at strategy)
★ Scaffold support (book→cues→memory)
★ Allow time to practice
★ Provide feedback
★ Extend (reread, new ways to retell, connecting stories)
2. Plan purposeful ways to use all elements of Figure 19 in your
3. Plan a writing lesson
Reading Rockets
Strategies that Promote Comprehension by Texas Education Agency
Key Comprehension Strategies that Teach by Texas Education Agency
National Institutes of Health
Retell as an Indicator of Reading Comprehension by Deborah K. Reed & Sharon Vaughn
S.T.O.R.Y. Extensions by MsJordanReads & Victoria Naughton
Meaning Matters
5 Retelling Activities to Increase Our Youngest Readers’ Story Comprehension by Kim Turgeon
First Grade W.O.W
Retelling Stories by Nancy Vandenberge
Strategy Lessons: Retell by Karen Haag
Reading Strategies that Work: Teaching Your Students to Become Better Readers by Laura
Keeping It Captivating
Retell Sticks by Keeping It Captivating
University of Pittsburgh School of Education
Five Finger Retell by LEADERS Handbook of Early Literacy Strategies and Activities
Tracy Harper
[email protected]
Christel Applon
[email protected]
Robyn Jackson
[email protected]

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