I have the story The Great Big Enormous Turnip on a CD and I have the kids listen to the story in its entirety.
This sets the stage for the sequencing of events and allows the kids to activate their listening comprehension, which is less stressful, especially to my second language learners. We know that a child's listening comprehension is usually years ahead of their reading comprehension. Therefore, listening to the story lowers a students' affective filter and allows them to confirm or question understanding without the pressure of having to 'read.'
I say: Boys and girls, be sure to pay close attention to the order of the character's appearance in the story. We will be talking about the order in which they appear after we listen to the story!
Retelling is a key kindergarten skill that lays the foundation for summarizing in the upper elementary and later grades. I use picture support to give my second language learners and concrete reference that also prompts language. It also gives me the opportunity to clarify and reteach, if necessary, before the students independently sequence events tomorrow.
I enlarge the events of the story so that the whole class can do this sequencing activity together. I like to do it in a pocket chart, but a chalk board ledge works well too. Before we begin, I review each of the event stick illustrations out of order. This is my way of making sure the kids know what each picture signifies. I usually place the first square at this point in the year.
I say: This is the name of the story The Great Big Enormous Turnip. Do you remember what we call the name of the story? (title) The title always goes first so that the reader knows what story we are talking about.
I say: Now, let’s look at the events we have here. Which event came in the beginning of the story? What was the FIRST event of the story. You can take volunteers or pull a name stick and have a student come up to the pocket chart to identify the first event of the story. If they do not know, I choose another student. When they pick the correct one, I help them to place it right next to the title in the pocket chart.
I follow that same pattern until all of the events are placed in order after the title.
After all of the events have been placed, we ‘reread’ the events. Say: Boys and girls, this fast way of telling a story is called a retell/summary. A retell/summary is when we tell the story with the main events.
Students are given the characters for The Great Big Enormous Turnip. They add facial details and color each character. I then have the students cut each of the characters out and put them on their desk in the order they appeared in the story. I monitor and assist where necessary. As students finish cutting and ordering, they raise their hand for me to double check their sequencing. If it is placed correctly on their desk, students get a string from the pile on the carpet and that will be their necklace. If there are characters out of order, I prompt the students by pulling that character out of their sequence and prompting the student to place that character in a different spot.
I like to have students wait for me and we string the necklaces together. This way I make sure that the necklace is strung correctly, as I sent this home as homework for them to retell the story to someone at home.
We then practice retelling the story using our ordinal words (first, second, etc..) and transitional words/phrases (next, after that, then, etc...). This is their oral rehearsal for their homework, which will be to retell the story to someone in their family using their retell necklace.