Monday, December 1, 2014

Retelling Fiction Text and a Freebie

Fiction text are so much fun to read, but when it comes down to having your little learners retell what they just read or *GASP* write a summary of what they just read, all the fun just gets sucked out! Am I right, or am I right?! Ha! 

In all seriousness, retelling and summarizing can be a daunting task for a first or second grader. By the end of our study, my second graders were rocking retelling, but that does't mean that there weren't a few lessons that I began to think there is no way they are going to be able to do this on.their.own. Independently and consistently are two words that come up repeatedly on our standards based report card. Those two words can be scary when all you want to do is give your kiddos guidance and support. 

So what do I do to help my kiddos master retelling and summarizing independently and consistently? 

Of course I start off with modeling over and over and over what the expectations are, but I know you already know that so here is one tip that I have to help get your kiddos off on the right track... Start small!

I always begin the year with questioning and I spend many a lesson on each of the six question starters {who, what, when, where, why, and how}. By doing this, by the time I get to retelling, my kids are use to identifying and analyzing characters, setting, problem, and solution. 

I also use a retelling rope to help my kids visualize this process. Here is my pirate style version. No reason for pirates other than this clip art from Creative Clips is just too.darn.cute! 

My retelling rope is next to the "I "mustache" you a question!" poster. 

This is one of my student's retelling ropes. The knot at the top symbolizes the problem and the bow symbolizes the solution. 

I also make an anchor chart to go along with it just in case some of my friends forget what each picture represents.

After reading several books as a class, I let my students choose books from their book bucket to retell on their own. 

First I let them work with a partner to retell their story aloud so they can listen to their retelling and self-monitor if they are missing any important information from their story. Then, I have them record their thoughts on a retelling graphic organizer.

If you'd like a copy of my pirate retelling rope, click here.

{Graphics: Creative Clips, Fonts: KG Fonts}

After my students have a firm grasp on retelling, we move into summarizing the beginning, middle, and end of a story. 

I just used a graphic organizer I had found from another packet, but you could always have your kids write their summary in their reading journal. 

If you'd like a copy of the BME chart labels you can find them here.

{Font: KG Fonts}

What do you do to teach your kiddos how to retell and summarize?


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