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Retelling: A Fun Way to Read Together

Retelling is an important pre-reading and early literacy skill for students to learn. It is one of my favorite skills to work on with students because there are so many different ways to practice this together at home. Retelling is really just being able to tell the important parts of a story in order (including the characters and setting depending on age). Children can do this orally, by using their fingers to track each event, or using a retelling rope, graphic organizer, or some other type of visual aid. Again, this will depend on your child's age and ability.

There are so many fun ways to act out stories at home as well, from making puppets to using felt boards or props. Parents and children can use different voices to act out different characters and model for children how to bring the story to life. Not only is this practicing literacy skills, as well as reading and listening comprehension, but it brings age-appropriate play pretend skills as well. Too often these days pretend play is forgotten in academics and retelling is an amazing opportunity to bring books to life and allow children to really get creative. One of my favorite projects I did while teaching was having students reenact the Three Billy Goats Gruff. We printed paper puppets and the children cut and colored them on their own. Then, we taped them to popsicle sticks or q tips. After their puppets were complete, the kids met with a partner to build a bridge and retell the story together. They had so much fun and we could really see how much they remembered from the story. I love doing this with stories that children love such as The Gingerbread Man, The Mitten, and There Was an Old Lady series.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional Library offers some other ideas about how parents can work on these skills at home. Libraries are such great resources for getting a variety of books and your local librarian should be able to offer ideas for new and interesting reads! Check out some of those ideas here:

Keep an eye on the February resources for a retelling graphic organizer!

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