Mentor Monday1/26/15: Ideas To Practice Retelling


Welcome to another week of Mentor Monday! I’m so grateful to have my fellow teacher bloggers link up last week. If you had a chance to, thank you!

Here in New England we are bracing for a blizzard. It’s going to be a real winter wallop as the meteorologists say here! Anytime someone uses the word blizzard, people are harkened back to the infamous Blizzard of ’78. It paralyzed areas of New England and sadly people died during it.

My Mom could retell the events of the blizzard as if it happened yesterday. I was about 5 months old, so don’t count on me for any details. Mom recalls how she looked out the window before the storm hit. Light flakes were swirling around in a circle on the street. My Dad picked up my brother and sister from school early that day. Little did they know that school would be cancelled for the next two weeks.
During the blizzard, my Mom was giving my sister and brother a bath when my sister got a nasty gash on her head from hitting it on the faucet. She clearly needed stitches, but there was no way anyone was going out in the middle of a blizzard to an ER. Mom called the doctor and he advised her on how to keep the wound closed tightly with her hand for hours and to make sure my sister showed no signs of concussion. Luckily, she was ok the next day, but I’m sure my Mother got very little sleep that night.

Stories of people stranded in cars, the National Guard coming in to remove the snow, children lost in snow banks, friends’ Moms going into labor, and fierce coastal damage are all retold and passed down even today. If you were old enough to remember the Blizzard of ’78, then you have a story to share!

My stories of a treacherous blizzard tie in nicely with this week’s topic: retelling. Retelling a story can be a challenging strategy if you haven’t been able to utilize other some reading strategies. For instance, visualizing is super important for a child to be able to retell effectively. If they cannot make a mental image in their minds of the most salient events in a story, this is going to be a stumbling block. Another challenge is retelling in order. Do you have kiddos who bounce around all over when they retell? Both can be a corrected with lots of modeling and practice.

Here is a Pinterest board I just started to for retelling ideas. You’ll find book ideas, anchor charts, printable classroom tools and strategies. One I’ve pinned is  Read, Cover, Remember, Retell. I have a fifth grader I use this strategy with and it is really working well. You may use it with children who have a hard time with retelling at any grade level. The benefits are:

  • This works well with fiction and non-fiction.
  • It breaks retelling down into more manageable steps.
  • It boosts a young reader’s confidence.

Another pinned strategy I love is the retelling rope. You can use a real rope or draw one and add knots. Each knot on the rope is a part of the story.

I hope you find this brand new board helpful I’ll be adding more pins soon. Please be sure to follow me to find lots of new ideas!

So, in a few days, I’ll be digging my way out of a major snowstorm. Why not DIG into some of these retelling ideas? I’d love to hear of any new ones you have in the comments. See you next week for Mentor Monday. It will be a brand new month of topics. Have a great week!

**Teacher bloggers who’d like to link up: Please follow the Inlinkz directions below and use this schedule. Directions and a Mentor Monday button are included. Thank you so much!



  1. Oh, Brrrr. We left after the high snowfall of "97. I've been posting on narrative skills this month, too. You can check out my posts for some information and ideas at
    I've got some graphics you might want to pin in my last 3 posts on narrative skills.
    My favorite book about "telling" skills is Kate Duke's "Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One." I've got a resource about it in my TPT store, too.

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