Monday, September 24, 2012

Listening to Retell

We all know that reading to our children is important, but what are they doing while they listen?  Sometimes it's nice to just listen.  But it's good to see if your child is undertsanding what is being read to them.  This is a really big part of literacy.  My daughter wanted me to read her a Princess story so we read "Beauty and the Beast".  Short and sweet and both kids listened to it.

Once we finished reading, I laid out these retelling cards (you can print them too!, click here!) and I asked her to tell me about the story.  We started with the setting and moved along the path to the end.  At first she was a little bit confused.  She's never had to tell me what she listened to.  But by the end, she wasn't skipping a part!  I found the idea originally on Pinterest but I didn't like how it was for the "Wizard of Oz" - I wanted to make them more generic, which is why I made my own.  If you are interested in the other ones, please, go to her website and print them.  And check out the rest of her blog, it's pretty amazing!

Retelling is not a skill that children are just born with.  They must learn how to do this in order to be a great reader!  Here are some more tips:
  • The "If you give a ___ a ___" books by Laura Numeroff are great books to teach retelling.  They are simple, basic and a lot of fun!  There are many of her books out there including If you give a Moose a Muffin, If you give a Mouse a Cookie and If you give a Pig a Pancake.
  • When you are in the car, retell the old classics (Golidlocks, Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, etc.).  In the beginning you will have to do the whole story.  After a while, get your child to start filling in the different parts.  In the end, your child will be able to tell YOU the story.

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