Retelling stories demonstrates understanding of the story itself.  It helps children to understand key aspects of the story and also incorporate things such as the voices of the different characters.  It is something you can do with props at home or children can draw and make the characters or they can just look at the illustrations in the book and retell what is happening.

Video: an example of a well-known traditional tale being re-told

Another fun way to retell stories at home is to make one yourselves with any phone/tablet device by taking small clips of key parts of the story and adding them together with a movie maker app. Take a photo after each small movement of each character – then put it together in an app such as iMovie and set time to 0.4 seconds.  You can then add voices over the top if you wish. 

Video: guess the story made here

The children love to watch these back and also they are great to share with family and friends.  

Create an area that can be used as a pretend stage and take your child’s favourite story and create a ‘show’ to retell the story.  Create different voices for the different characters as you retell it.  This is a great way to develop story language, boost children’s confidence and aid crucial language development.


“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.” – Marcel Proust

As part of retelling stories, children learn to order the events and they can gain a deeper understanding of what they have read.

Story maps

Story maps are great to do with children to help them to retell the story.  These help them to focus on the story sequence, study the theme, characters, settings, problems, plot events, and resolution-and on the relationship of characters.