Retelling stories

I decided it was high time my level ones told a story again. They’re retelling our “moose wants a snowsuit” tale. I know it’s weird, but my husband came up with this story for my adult class the other night, and a mom in that class did such cute drawings that I wanted to reuse them.

Here’s what I told the kids they had to do to get a B:
1. They had to retell the story (groups of 3-4).
2. Each person had to say at least two things (it didn’t count if they said “This is a …”)
3. They had to change or add at least three elements in the story.
4. No English
5. No written words, only drawings.
6. Ten minutes work time.

I’m usually amazed by how well this can go, but this time, I missed a couple of steps. I needed to have told them to retell the original story first, with drawings, just in their groups. About half today’s groups “got” the plan, but the others were too far out on various limbs. Oh well. I’ll go back in on Monday and make repairs.

One thing I might do is print out the story for reading, and ask kids to read it, draw it, and then make changes in the pictures. I will figure it out over the weekend.

Meanwhile, in the group where everyone was reading the same story, but they were at way different points in it, I asked them to line up by where they were in the story. Then I paired up the kids at the two ends, then the next pair in from the end, and so on, and everyone started from the lowest place. That way a bunch of the kids got caught up. I’ll do it again on Monday, so that they get shuffled again. During their reading, I circulated to answer questions and do little grammar popups.

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