Saturday, 11 October 2014

Retelling a story aids comprehension and develops an understanding of the structure of narratives. It is always better to ask students to retell a story orally before any writing. Speaking the words out loud allows most people to clarify their own understanding, whatever the subject. It gives us some mental space to sort and adjust our recall and understanding within a given framework. During retelling students are naturally using their reading strategies and writing scaffolds to visualise, question, summerise and order all the parts into a cohesive whole that brings a deeper understanding. From that point it makes the writing process much clearer for the student, as they already have a map in their head. I like to do oral storytelling with my students before they do any of their own writing; sometime before brainstorming, sometimes after, and sometimes both. 

This Five Finger Retell strategy is a simple way to scaffold your students thinking as they practice oral or written retelling. It's a free download here.