Story Wheel

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SWBAT retell the major events in a story.

Big Idea

Original strategies are used to get the student to see retelling in a new light.


10 minutes

Common Core Connections

The standard this lesson focuses on requires the students to retell stories and demonstrate an understanding of the central message.  They need to not only understand the central message but be able to analyze how the central message develops while citing supporting details.  Exposure to a wide range of text that are highly complex and guided practice are two tools that I find useful in teaching this standard.

Lesson Overview

The lesson begins with the student seated because the image is the promethean board.  Then I project the circle and title on the board. I like using a story weel is neat beause it is  l The students work in collaborative groups of two or three at the center tables to complete their partner work.  Last, they move to the lounge area for reflection and closure.

Introductory Activity

I show the picture of my puppy Bernie that we make the story wheel about.  I choose personal things for most of my guided practice activities because it makes them meaningful.  It also helps my students and I get closer.  

The day before I taught this lesson I ran over Bernie. I was devastated, but he was only bruised.  So, I tell the class what I did and I am going to share the story. I allow them to predict what will happen next and how Bernie felt to make the hook more interesting.  The more involved the students are the better the lessons seem to flow.


Guided Practice

20 minutes

I ask the students to predict what happened first with their partner.  Then I call on one volunteer to share.  I tell the learners what happened.  The I tell them the next part and we talk about why Bernie ran in front of the car. In this case, Bernie is a character in a narrative, and I am asking students to analyze the reasons for his actions and his feelings.  Analyzing the character deepens their understanding and comprehension of the story. The students discuss how he must have felt when the truck hit him.  After I add that we went to the veterinarian's office and returned home, they discuss his feeling after we returned home.  Analyzing the change in the character after each event is added to the wheel (Class Work) creates an opportunity for the students to engage their higher order thinking skills.

Partner Work

20 minutes

The students selected books that they had been reading.  The two groups that are in the resources selected a story about an angry volcano.  I did not tell them how many details they had to write. I just set the stack of notes beside their work space.  I did walk around and monitor their work and ask questions to check for understanding.

I have a video (Group Work 2) of the student work and a picture (Work Sample 2) in the resources.

Student Reflection

10 minutes

I like to allow my students to work on their speaking and listening skills in the reflection of my lessons.  Speaking and listening is a shift in Common Core.  Likewise, modeling quality is a great way to teach, and I can't tell them no when they are so proud of what they made.  After they are finished presenting I ask them to write on thing they learned on a note and place it on the exit ticket poster.


10 minutes

I ask one person to share what they learned with the class.  Then I ask if anyone can add to that.  I am trying to get them to learn to build upon what others are saying.  I even add to what they say to model the skill.  Last we chant, I can retell a story with supporting details.  I say it, they echo, tell a friend, and repeat it with me.  This repetition increases memory, focuses the class on the goal, and makes the goal personal.