Activities That Teach Students How to Retell

Retelling is an important skill for readers to develop. It involves summarizing a story’s main events and characters in one’s own words. Retelling helps readers remember the story, understand the plot, identify key events, and analyze the characters’ motivations. It’s also a great way to improve language and communication skills. Here are 18 adaptable retelling activities that you can use with learners of all ages and abilities.

1. Story map: Use a graphic organizer or a story map to help learners visualize the main events of the story. They’ll need to identify the setting, characters, problem, solution, and other key details. They can draw or write notes in each section.

2. Character sketch: Focus on the main character(s) and describe their traits, actions, and motivations. Students can create a character sketch or use sticky notes to label the character traits.

3. Rewriting the ending: Challenge learners to rewrite the ending of the story. They can change the outcome, add a twist, or create an alternate ending.

4. Storyboard: Use a storyboard to help learners retell the story visually. They can illustrate the main events and add captions.

5. Puppet show: Create puppets or use finger puppets to act out the story. Learners can practice retelling the story as they perform.

6. Book trailer: Create a book trailer or a short video to promote the story. Students can choose their favorite parts of the story and use images, sounds, and text to create a multimedia experience.

7. Reader’s theater: Practice retelling the story by acting out the scenes as a play. Learners can use scripts, props, and costumes to bring the story to life.

8. Story cubes: Use story cubes or dice to generate random elements of the story, such as characters, settings, or events. Learners can use these elements to retell the story in a new way.

9. Comic strip: Create a comic strip to retell the story. Learners can use speech bubbles, thought bubbles, and captions to convey the story’s main events.

10. Memory game: Create a memory game using key elements from the story. Learners can match character names, images, or quotes from the story.

11. Sequencing: Have learners retell the story in the correct order. They can use index cards or sticky notes to sequence the main events.

12. Cause and effect: Focus on the cause-and-effect relationships in the story. Learners can identify the main events and describe how they lead to the story’s outcome.

13. Storytelling podcast: Create a storytelling podcast or audio recording. Learners can retell the story in their own words, adding sound effects and music to enhance the experience.

14. Book diorama: Create a diorama to showcase the story’s setting and characters. Learners can retell the story as they point out key elements in the diorama.

15. Reader response journal: Have learners write a journal entry in response to the story. They can reflect on their favorite parts of the story, how they felt about the characters, or what they learned from the story.

16. Role-play: Assign learners different roles in the story and have them act out the scenes. They can take turns retelling the story from different perspectives.

17. Comparing stories: Compare and contrast the story with another story. Learners can identify similarities and differences in the plot, characters, themes, or writing style.

18. Retelling games: Play retelling games such as charades, Pictionary, or Apples to Apples. Learners can use their knowledge of the story to communicate with their team members.

Retelling activities can be adapted to fit the needs and interests of each learner. By retelling stories in different ways, learners can develop their comprehension, communication, and creativity skills while having fun.

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