30 Children’s Books to Teach Retelling a Story

30 Children’s Books to Teach Retelling a Story

Retelling a story is a student’s own account of what happened in a book. This important comprehension strategy promotes sequencing skills, print concepts, descriptive vocabulary and thinking skills. Explore 30 picture books to teach retelling a story in your classroom.

30 Children’s Books to Teach Retelling a Story

Retelling a Story

Retelling is a foundational reading skill. It involves identifying the important parts of the story in order, including characters, setting, problem and solution. Retelling develops sequencing skills, print concepts, descriptive vocabulary, thinking skills, and visualisation techniques.

There are a couple of retelling strategies most teachers use:
1. Using the transitional words first, then, next, after that and finally/lastly. These words help students focus on the order of events.
2. Story maps help students focus on the most important story elements, including determining the principal characters, setting and the key problem and solution events.

Students need a lot of practice when retelling a story. It is important to model retelling strategies with your read-aloud sessions before your students have a go independently.

Related Posts

Picture Books for Retelling a Story​

Many books in your classroom or school library will work for teaching retelling a story. Here are some new and old suggestions that work particularly well. Don’t forget wordless picture books. They encourage students to focus on storytelling and comprehension rather than ‘remembering’ the text as well as retelling the story.

Journey by Aaron Becker


The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse by Mac Barn

When a mouse is swallowed by a wolf he thinks his life is over, only to discover a duck who has made himself at home. When a hunter decides to kill the wolf the pair have to cooperate and make a brave decision to save their lives Promotes themes of cooperation, courage, problem solving and creative thinking.

Retelling a Story Questions

  • Retell the story in your own words.
  • Retell the most important events in the story from the beginning, middle and end.
  • Retell the most important events in order.
  • Who was the story about?
  • How did the story begin?
  • What happened at the beginning?
  • When did the story happen?
  • Where did the story happen?
  • What happened next? Then what happened?
  • What’s happened to this character so far?
  • What did [character] do next?
  • What did [character] do after [event/action]?
  • What was the [character’s] problem?
  • How did [character] solve the problem?
  • How did the story end?

Further Reading

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30 Children’s Books to Teach Retelling a Story

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