The Art of Retelling a Story: Tips and Tricks for Teachers

Retelling stories is an essential skill for students to develop, as it enhances their comprehension, critical thinking, and language skills. However, not all students find retelling easy, and teachers can encounter difficulties when trying to teach this skill. In this article, we will explore some tips and tricks for teachers to use when teaching their students how to retell a story.

The Importance of Retelling

Retelling is a valuable skill for students to develop as it can help them understand the structure and components of a story. Through retelling, students learn how to identify the main idea, characters, setting, and events in a story. This skill allows students to make connections between the text and their own experiences, which can enhance their understanding and retention of the story.

Furthermore, retelling a story can improve a student’s language skills by expanding their vocabulary, improving their grammar, and increasing their fluency. Retelling also helps students develop critical thinking skills as they analyze the story’s components, make inferences, and draw conclusions.

Tips and Tricks for Teachers

1. Model Good Retelling

One of the most effective ways for teachers to teach their students how to retell a story is by modeling good retelling themselves. Teachers can do this by first reading a story to the class and then verbally retelling the story using language that is appropriate for the student’s age and language level. This can help students understand the key components of retelling, including identifying the main idea, characters, setting, and events.

2. Use Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers can be used to help students organize their thoughts when retelling a story. A graphic organizer can be a visual representation of the story’s components, including the characters, setting, and events. Teachers can use graphic organizers to help students understand the structure of a story and identify the key components.

3. Use Prompts and Questions

Using prompts and questions can help students focus on the key components of the story when retelling. Teachers can use prompts such as “Who are the characters?” or “What happened first?” to guide students’ retelling. Additionally, teachers can ask open-ended questions, such as “Why do you think the character did that?” to encourage critical thinking and analysis.

4. Practice Retelling

Students need to practice retelling stories regularly to improve their skills. Teachers can provide opportunities for students to practice retelling in a variety of ways, including through partner retelling, small group discussions, and individual retelling. By providing regular opportunities for practice, students can develop their retelling skills and become more confident in their ability to retell stories.

5. Provide Feedback

Feedback is crucial for students to improve their retelling skills. Teachers can provide feedback by listening to students’ retellings and providing constructive feedback on areas for improvement. Feedback can also be provided through peer reviews, where students listen to their peers’ retellings and provide feedback.


Retelling is an essential skill for students to develop, as it enhances their comprehension, critical thinking, and language skills. Teachers can use a variety of tips and tricks to teach their students how to retell a story effectively, including modeling good retelling, using graphic organizers, using prompts and questions, practicing retelling, and providing feedback. By using these techniques, teachers can help their students become confident and skilled at retelling stories.

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