Story Retelling

Retelling a story is a skill pre-readers need to practice in order to gain experience with later reading comprehension. Children can listen to a story and recall the characters, what they characters say, and details about the plot.

Retelling a Story

When doing this activity with children, choose a book that you would consider good literature (good characters, plot, beginning, middle, end). After the book has been read to the children, show the book and tell them to think about what happened in the story, the people (characters), and places they saw in the story. Ask them to think about what each character said.

Give each child a piece of paper and ask them to draw something they remember from the story. Remind them that this should not be a picture of their cat or their friends, but only pictures of things from the book.

Retelling a Story

After each child has illustrated the story, have them retell the story in their own words, and write their dictation.

These story recall drawings are great for saving in children’s portfolios. You can also save all of them through the year and put them together into a book.

Story Retelling with Young Children


  1. says

    You have some great ideas. It is so kind of you to share. I wish there were more time ing the day to do so many fun and educational things! Thanks!!

  2. Mari Weisman says

    I was wondering if you do this with Pre-K classes and if you think it would be a good model lesson to do for a job interview?

    • says

      Yes, I teach Pre-K. For an interview, I would probably choose something more hands-on, with no paper/pencil type work. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I would want to do very hands-on activities for a job interview. That’s just my thought.

  3. Lou says

    I really enjoy your lessons, it really is helping me so much. Very interesting, I can’t wait to try them with my ocean themes .

  4. Lisa says

    I see you read The Paperboy and Lunch With Aunt Augusta for your story re-telling activity. Can you list some additional pre-K appropriate books/stories that work well with this?

    • says

      I don’t really have a list. I choose different books every year. Any book with a good story structure will work great (problem, solution, characters, plot…) You could do Pete the Cat, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Splat the Cat, Three Billy Goats Gruff (any fairy tale).

  5. Vera Dryden says

    I love your creativity. I teach preschool with weekly themes. For each theme I am always able to find activities. Great resources!

  6. Rose Saunders says

    Hi Karen! I am absolutely in love with your website! You continue to push me to be the best teacher that I could be. I love how you incorporate your themes into your dramatic play center. This Month we did the “Holiday Store” that allows the children to take on roles, like cashier, customer, stocker, etc. They have been busy learning about responsibilities and role playing, counting and making change. We have also seen great improvements with taking turns as each one of them gets to decide early on what they will be responsible for.

  7. Susan Wheeler says

    Hi I am a Headstart teacher and I really enjoy looking at the activities that you share on your site but I haven’t tried any of them yet because this is the first I have visit ed your site but I am starting an ocean unit Monday so I will be using some of the activities for this unit. You have some very good and interesting ideas on teaching preschool children and I really thank you for the help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *