Inst. Proj. Retelling for Reading Comprehension

Marilia Phillips
REED 663
Dr. Sharon Pitcher
Fall 2010
Retelling provides an opportunity for readers to
process what they have read by organizing and
explaining it to others
Research has shown that retelling increases both
the quantity and quality of what is comprehended
Retelling can be used as a strategy to help
teachers assess comprehension and increase
silent reading fluency
Retelling. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://
I worked with a group of four ESL students during a
fourth grade guided reading lesson
The lesson took place over a course of four days with
a guided reading book on the students’ reading level
The book used for this lesson was called “A Gift to
Share” by Barbara Swett Burt. This book is about a
little girl named Mattie that wanted to buy a birthday
gift for her Aunt Debra. Mattie did not have enough
money to buy a gift for her Aunt so she asks for some
gift ideas from some of her family members. Mattie
learns that the best gifts come from the “heart”.
For this lesson, I had students preview the
book and make predictions about what this
book would be about
Students took a picture walk and discussed
what they thought was taking place in the
I asked students to read the first couple of
pages in the book; and told them they would
be writing what happened in the beginning
and middle of the story on Day 1 on their
yellow sticky notes
Gradual Release of responsibility was shown on
this day when students read the end of this
book and retold events from the end of the
story on yellow sticky notes with using the
example I had shown from Day 1
 Most students had no difficulty with
continuing the activity with my example from
Day 1
 However, one student was confusing events
and retelling from his story and said “I need
more help to tell this story”
Students used story maps to retell their story
The yellow sticky notes provided as “support”
for students to help them “fill in” the
information in their story map
The lesson concluded with the students
taking their story map retelling and writing
their retold stories on lined paper
I wanted my students to use the story map to
help them retell the story on lined paper
because it helps children create “ownership”
and “pride” that they can write in their own
I discussed my project with one of my colleagues
in the ESOL department at my school
I used direct quotes from my colleague
regarding her suggestions for how to use story
maps for retelling
“I’ve only used a story map for retelling in
conjunction with the 5-finger retell”.
“That way, the kids have the story map (blank) to
look at while they are orally retelling the
characters, main events, problem, solution, etc..”
The gradual release of responsibility for my
lesson could have more scaffold for students that
were having difficulty with their retelling
For example, I could have had “mini conferences”
with students to guide them more in their
The story maps were effective to help my
students transfer the information onto their lined
paper writing
For future lessons, I would have students create
story maps that included setting, characters,
problem, and solution to further their
understanding of details in retelling a story
Burt, B. (1998). A Gift to Share. Austin: SteckVaughn Company.
Retelling. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://

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