School Stories

Story retelling in the Early Years

  • 22 December 2021

Story retelling is one of the best ways to build reading comprehension and bring about an excitement and a love of reading – by Clair Crean, Early Years Specialist at Nord Anglia

By engaging the children in retelling stories read to them we aim to promote story-related comprehension and expressive vocabulary. We encourage the children to use their imagination, expand their ideas, and create visual images of the story as they transfer the plot to new settings often inventing different characters or giving them new voices.

During a retelling we scaffold the child’s engagement in the story by asking open-ended questions, asking them to make predictions, and engaging them in verbal elaborations. Story retelling is characterised by actively involving a child in the reading episode, retelling the story to the child, promoting additional child elaborations and expansions, and asking the child to retell the story in their own words.

On the photo above, some of our children drew parts of the story as they acted it out. For younger children and those whose English vocabulary is developing, drawing the story often shows us their understanding of the story which their limited vocabulary possibly could not.

Try this

Give your child a piece of paper and ask him/her to draw something he/she remembers from a story you or the teacher told.  After your child has illustrated the story, have them retell the story in their own words and write down their recollection of the story. This is a wonderful way to treasure and remember your child’s developmental steps and milestones.

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