Sunday, October 20, 2013

Retelling With a "Tell Me Tower"

Hello Everyone!
Story retelling is an effective way to improve children's reading comprehension. For our kiddos who are just starting to develop their reading skills, this practice can be extremely helpful.
Studies on story recall have found that extended use of the technique of story retelling leads to large improvements in story comprehension, making inferences, and understanding of story structure. Rather than having children answer specific questions about story details, story retelling requires children to focus on the bigger picture of the story and allows me to see how well a child understands the story as a whole.
 The goal should be to encourage students to think critically about the story and to improve their comprehension and vocabulary by having them tell their thoughts. As children become more comfortable with retelling stories, their language and listening skills will improve.

I have previously posted about using a retelling rope to aid in the retelling of stories. This year I introduced a "Tell Me Tower."  In the middle of our fairy tale unit, it was a great fit!
I reviewed the important story elements and introduced some little icons to help them remember the elements.  The kids made "Tell Me Towers" from paper towel tubes, construction paper and the icons.  Then they got together with a friend and told each other about a story they had read, or heard.  In this case, it was Cinderella. Some of the kids used the little puppets to also aid in the retelling.
Here are a couple of pics.

 For your own set of "Tell Me Tower" icons, click HERE! :)
(They are part of my Cinderella Unit!)
The kids will keep their "Tell Me Towers" in their book baskets to use consistently with each book they read!
Hope you can use this!  Let me know!!
Until then!
Have a great weekend!


  1. Wow, Nancy, this is amazing!
    I love your ideas. Your blog is a source of inspiration. Thank you for all your great ideas and particularly your generosity.

    I am a teacher in Australia. I have told many of my teacher friends to follow your blog. A big thank you from Teachers down in OZ.

    Classroom Fun

  2. Thank you so much for all of the fabulous materials you share! So wonderful!

  3. Thanks for sharing this amazing unit and all your wonderful ideas:-)

  4. I love the tell me towers. I love that it is not only super cute, but meaningful too! Thanks for sharing:)

    The Resourceful Apple


This blog is for fellow educators, parents, and friends! I love reading and learning from your comments! Please share your thoughts!