• Retelling an Experience or Story

    How do I get my child to retell stories? Children are naturally enthusiastic storytellers. Parents can greatly encourage their children by having them retell an event that has happened in their lives. They can clearly describe what happened and they are learning some very basic narrative skills. Parents can best encourage this behavior by letting the child do most of the telling. This type of retelling will prepare your child to retell a story they have read. 

    What kinds of stories should I encourage? Encourage your child to retell special events that have happened such as a birthday, a day when a brother or sister came home, the first day of school, or a major accomplishment. Holidays are natural events to retell. All of these events have memories with rich feelings and emotions. They have a clear beginning, middle and end. These events make wonderful stories.

    How should I get my child to retell stories? One natural way is to listen as your child talks to you at the dinner table, at bedtime, or in the car. Sharing stories allows for face to face communication but your child will soon begin to have new ways of telling stories - by writing them down.

    What if my child can't spell words correctly? If a child tells a story but doesn't know how to write the words s/he is normal. All children progress through very predictable stages of spelling as they are learning how to read and write. As they learn more about letters and sounds and they see words in print, they will use that information to construct the words they want to spell. When they make their best guess at words they are revealing a very special knowledge about written language. You can learn much about where your child is by looking at the ways they attempt to spell a word. If my child misspells a word, will that make my child a poor speller? Actually, the more freedom you give your child to figure out how to spell a word the better speller they will become. The more they have to think about which letters make certain sounds and in which order they have to appear in a word, the better speller they will be.

    What to Say, Do, and Ask Your Child

    When They Retell a Story

    ·     Who are the characters in the story? Who else was in the story? Encourage children to use the characters’ names when retelling the story.


    ·     Start at the beginning and tell me what happened.


    ·     What happened before/after/next?


    ·     How did the story end?


    ·     What was the problem in the story? How did the characters solve the problem?


    ·     What do you think the author is telling you?


    ·     Did you make a connection while reading? Tell me about it.