Learning how to Retell

There are so many elements when teaching young children how to read.  Many of my kids are so excited about the fact that they can read the words.  Our next hurdle has been to think and understand what we read.  I have been using this graphic organizer to help my students retell fiction stories.

To introduce this concept, I used familiar texts that my students knew a lot about.  I wanted them to focus on the comprehension and not "learn" a new story.  As we filled out the graphic organizer, we retold the story bit by bit.  We did it whole group or with a partner.

As you can see, the retell includes pictures and words.  I like this because it helps to "trigger" what to say.  It also asks them to think about the story rather than just learning the terms beginning, middle and end.  I don't know about your students but mine take that term literally.  Many times opening right to the middle of a book.  I also like that it is related to the Common Core; a direction that I am trying to move my teaching.

Would you like a copy of this to use with your students? Included is the graphic organizer and text to make a teacher poster like shown above.

What do you do to help young readers with comprehension?  I am looking for books and ideas to explicitly teach inference.  Any suggestions?  Your comments and feedback is appreciated.

Happy Teaching and Learning!


  1. I absolutely love this idea! We are working on retelling also and you are right... the children take beginning,middle,end literally. This is just perfect. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. I love this graphic organizer. It helps give students a clear picture of retelling a story using beginning, middle, and end. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. You spoke of inferring -- I was reading "The Wolf's Chicken Stew" on the 100th day of school -- one of my favorites -- and I asked,"What happened at the beginning of the story? One of my kinders said, "The wolf went fishing!" There was nothing in the story about fishing, so I was puzzled -- until I saw a plate with fish bones on the wolf's table. I said,"How did you know that?" and my little 5 year old said, "I INFERRED." I was so proud -- especially since my principal was sitting there for my evaluation!!

  4. This is fabulous! I can't wait to make it into a poster and use with my kinders. Thank you for sharing!

    ~ Amy

  5. This looks great! Thanks for sharing!
    My kids never skip to the middle of the book to look for what happened in the middle, though, but I think it's because I teach them that the middle part is the "problem part of the story." So they are thinking about what the problem is in the story, and then the end is how the problem is solved. We use the Parts of a Story song to help in this. I do like the way you have it laid out, though! I think it is very clear and well done; it should be helpful to have another way to think about it. :)
    Heidi Butkus

  6. I LOVE this idea!!! Retelling is a difficult task for my group this year. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi Mrs. Parker! There is a great post about "Inferences" from The First Grade Parade. Maybe you can pull ideas from there?


  8. Thank you - so simple, but so usable - every day! Having this kind of prompt is great for my LD kiddos to get their thinkers going in the right direction.

  9. I love your anchor chart idea for retelling. We've been working on retelling and will continue next week. I'm definitely using your chart.
    For inferncing we use In A dark, dark Wood and The Crocodile and the Dentist. If you email me me, I can forward you a couple of files to go along with these stories.


  10. I love this graphic organizer and I am going to use this next week! I will let you know how this goes.

  11. I stopped by looking for your book pics! Ha I thought you would sneak a post in this early!

  12. Love this! Good as a planner for writing too! Thanks


  13. I love this graphic organizer. Thanks for sharing!


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