Earlier in the day I read the story of The Jacket I Wear in the Snow to my entire class. This portion of the lesson will be used during literacy center time. After I introduce this activity, the children can work independently at the Big Book Station with the materials. There is a sign at the Big Book Station that tells what activities the children can do: Read a big book, Point to words, Highlight words with highlighter tape, Match words, and Write a response.
Earlier this afternoon, boys and girls, we read the story The Jacket I Wear in the Snow. As we heard the story, we imagined what it was like for us to get ready for recess and pretended to put on our snowpants, coats, hats, mittens, scarves, boots, etc. At our big book station, I have put some props out for you to retell the story.
Who can tell me what these items are? (There are always giggles when I pull out the pair of long underwear.) You can work with a friend to retell the story--one person can tell the story while the other person dresses. At the Big Book Station, the activity revolves around retelling the story through dressing up. It is not just about putting on the outfit and being silly.
Story retelling is the process by which a child listens to or reads a story and then summarize, or "retells," the story in his or her own words. Retelling ties into these learning experiences and is an effective way to improve children's reading comprehension. Using this technique leads to large improvements in story comprehension, making inferences, and understanding of story structure.
Story retelling requires children to focus on the bigger picture of the story and me to see how well a child understands the story as a whole. By having children tell the story in their own words, educators can identify children's strengths, and specific areas of difficulty that arise for individual students.
As children become more comfortable with retelling stories, their language and listening skills will improve. For some of my children, they go through the motions of "reading" the story. They point at words and follow the story line because this is what I have modeled; however, there are students that can read the book, so at this station they may be reading more than retelling, and that's okay, too. They are modeling for their group buddies.
At the center are materials, like the clothing, you can use to retell the story. There is also some highlighting tape for you to use to mark the popcorn words (sight words) that you find. For example, if you find the word "the" you might want to mark it with the highlighting tape. There are also the story retelling pieces that I used when I read the story that you could also use. The poster at the Big Book Center can give you ideas to the things you can do at that center.
Have one friend read the story, they can pretend to be the teacher. Another friend can dress for the part of the little child in the story. Once you read through the story, you can switch jobs. It would be nice if you each got a turn before we rotate stations, so that you will still have time for your response sheets.
As an assessment for this station, the children write on a Big Book Center Response Sheet as to the words they found while looking at the book. In their illustration, they will show me what they did during their time at the Big Book Center. For those children that are able, they will also include a written response. This way I can assess whether they used their time wisely or if they understood their objective.
After you have retold the story, please fill in a response sheet with the words that you found. At the top, you will write your name and the title of the story. Remember the words you were searching for with the highlighter tape, the ones that I wrote on the sentences strip? These were your "star" words. Write these words on the next six lines. After that, you will sort the words on the paper by the number of letters in the words. Practice reading them to yourself. Then on the back of your Student Response sheet, draw a picture of "what I did at the station". Since I can't always make it over to watch your group, your drawings can show me the fine work that I know you did. When you are finished, you may put those papers in the work basket.