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Why Story Retelling Helps Kids Learn

by Makinya Ward on September 8, 2016
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Have you ever been in the middle of reading something and realized you had no idea what it was about? Good reading comprehension requires rewording and storing ideas in our memory as we read. We help children to learn this skill by asking them to retell stories. Here is why story retelling helps kids learn.

shutterstock_264896012.jpgStory Retelling Develops Sequencing Skills

Remembering the order of a story is key to understanding. Good readers can anticipate the next part of a story, which helps beginning readers to form good guesses about unfamiliar words and advanced readers to learn to read more quickly. Additionally, being able to put information in a sequence is also an important part of problem-solving in all subject areas.

Story Retelling Helps Comprehension

At Kids Konnect, teachers use story retelling to develop and also evaluate reading comprehension. In addition to asking a child to explain the plot, you can encourage deeper understanding by asking questions about the story like:

  • Who are the characters? What are they like?
  • Where did the story happen? Can you describe the place?
  • What problem did the characters face? How did they solve it?
  • Does this story remind you of any other stories you know?
  • Can you think of a different way to end the story?

Story Retelling Helps Memory

By reading a story and asking your child to tell you what happened, or by asking your child questions about the story, you can significantly increase your child's ability to remember details and patterns. You might want to start story retelling with familiar books you've read before, or wait until you've read a book several times before asking your child to tell you about what happens, especially for younger preschoolers. If your child has trouble answering or makes mistakes in the sequence, you can use the book's pictures to help them remember.

Story Retelling Engages Children

When you ask your child to retell the story to you, it shows that you are interested in what they are learning and thinking. You don't always have to read the story to your child first. Ask them to tell you a story about a wordless book, or about the pictures of a book they are looking at. Even reluctant readers enjoy this bonding activity. Add some creativity by taking turns retelling the story! Do you have a favorite family reading activity? Share it!