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Story Recall Teaching Ideas for Kindergarten Students

written by: Natasha Stiller • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 9/11/2012

Ever have gaps in the day and you're just not sure what to do? Use story recall activities to help engage students and provide a literature rich opportunity from five minutes to thirty. Students always have fun engaging in their senses.

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    Make Storytelling Fun

    Kindergarten students’ love hearing stories read to them by their teacher and engaging in the stories with all of their senses. Five and six year olds are such natural sponges when it comes to language and exploration that teaching kindergarteners story recall can be simplified into your lessons. The imagination is the limit when it comes to helping students explore a literature rich environment and enable them to use their senses to help tell stories in their own words.

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    Ideas to Try

    Here is a variety of teaching kindergarten story recall ideas.

    Have children retell the story to you. You can write down the class response and make a book of the students’ answers. You could even have the students draw pictures that go with their answers. Class books are a great way for students to visualize their ideas.

    Have students answer questions throughout the book. If you read several pages and are getting prepared to reach an important part of the story, ask students questions. ‘What do you think will happen next?’ This encourages students to really think about what might happen next in the story, in addition to paying attention so that they might get a turn to answer next time you ask a question.

    Provide felt characters for a story. These can be made with your own drawings or with pictures adapted from the text you are reading. Encourage students to participate in playing with the pieces as they retell the story.

    Students can also be encouraged to create their own alternate endings. This can be fun to also compile as a class book, where students can explore with their own ideas and interpretations of the story.

    Provide puppets for the students to use to help retell the story, or even masks, so that they can reenact the story. Students have fun putting themselves in the shoes of characters and they will have fun using something different in the story. Students don’t usually need a lot of resources to do this. For Rapunzel for instance, you could have a box decorated like her tower and a braid of rope. Let students run with their ideas as they play with the props.

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    More Interactive Ideas to Extend Activities

    You could make interactive books for the students to take home. Nursery rhymes are great for enactment. You could reproduce three houses for the Three Little Pigs, with individual pigs made for each house. The students can decorate the houses with the appropriate materials and tie a string to the big bad wolf at the back of the book. Students can play and retell the story over and over again. There are many nursery rhymes that can be turned into books, as well as other stories.

    If your story has a food element, you could try to expand your student’s taste buds and try something new. For instance, in reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, you could taste test some of the foods that the caterpillar ate before turning into a butterfly. This engages the sense of taste and students can help recall when the caterpillar ate this particular food in the story.

    When following through with these teaching kindergarten story recall ideas, ensure that you are asking questions and communicating to the students about the story, to help progress the retelling.


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