Picture Books to Teach Retelling a Story in the Classroom

Picture Books to Teach Retelling in the Classroom

Retelling a story is the reader’s account of what happened in a book. These picture books help teach this important comprehension strategy.

Picture Books to Teach Retelling

Why Use Picture Books to Teach 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.

Many books in your classroom or school library will work for teaching retelling a story. Don’t forget wordless picture books. They encourage students to focus on storytelling and comprehension rather than ‘remembering’ the text when retelling a story.

Retelling a Story Strategies

There are a couple of retelling strategies many 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 problem and solution.

Story Retelling Prompts and 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?
  • What was the setting(s)?
  • What happened next? Then what happened?
  • What’s happened to [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?

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Picture Books for Retelling a Story​

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.

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What Next?

Of course, many books can be used for retelling a story. This is just a collection of books that you may or have not heard of, and will hopefully apart some ideas of other books you can use in your classroom.

Here are a few videos you can use with your students that go through the process of how to retell a story.

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Picture Books to Teach Retelling

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