You might be wondering “Why is retelling a story so important?” You probably have heard myself or other teachers telling you about your child’s retell (the ability to recall facts/main ideas from text). The reason: retelling shows that your child comprehends and understands what he reads! And that, of course, is the ultimate goal of reading!
In order to help us improve our retells, we have learned about the five finger model in our class. To spice it up for St. Patricks Day, our class has made retelling rainbows on our favorite books. We traced our hands on different colors of paper (each color representing a different step in the 5 finger model). We wrote the characters on the red hand, the setting on the orange hand, the sequence of events on the yellow hand, the problem on the green hand, and the solution on the blue hand. We went a step further and wrote the main ideas on purple.
I recently read online about a school district who uses the take 5 minutes to ask 5 questions approach to improving the quality of reading time at home. I love this school/home connection so much I had to include it in this post! After you read with your child, have him complete a 5 finger retell. This step by step approach will allow your child to practice retelling easily. They just need to remember these 5 questions:
1. Who is in the story?
2. Where and when does the story take place?
3. What events happened in the beginning? Middle? End?
4. What was the problem in the story?
5. How is the problem solved?
I know that if you take 5 to ask 5, your child’s retells and comprehension will increase! 🙂