Teaching English and Drama: from art to words

Learning to tell the story

Only move into retelling the story, once the children have become familiar with what happens. Begin by 'boxing up' the tale into its main scenes so that the sequence of events is obvious.

Display this as a flow chart. Read or retell the story yourself, perhaps in sections. In pairs, the children use their story maps to help them retell the tale. The maps should show the events in the story, using pictures as well as some annotation where necessary.

Practise retelling in different ways:

  • Work on each section at a time, gradually building the tale up over time
  • Work in pairs, sitting facing each other and retell like a mirror
  • Pass the story back and forth, word by word or chunk by chunk
  • Tell the story up and down a line or round a circle
  • Individuals tell the story to a tree, wall or door
  • Work in pairs on a retelling while walking along, taking a step for each new scene
  • Use a long story map of wallpaper so that children can ‘step out’ the story as they retell
  • Create a large 'floor map' out of joined pieces of paper and place objects or toys onto the map – move these as you retell
  • Draw a map in a damp sandpit – move figures around as you retell
  • Put the main scenes onto 'story cards' and children use these to tell each scene at a time
  • Pairs retell to other pairs – respond, identifying what is powerful and what might be adjusted

Next: Building fluency

 
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