The Power of Retelling

The Power of Retelling - tutor the Spring 2003 The Power of...

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tutor the LEARNS provides train- ing and technical assis- tance to Corporation- funded programs focused on education. LEARNS is a partner- ship of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory and the Bank Street College of Education. For literacy, tutoring, and mentoring projects, LEARNS pro- vides training and tech- nical assistance. Call or e-mail to find out how we can help you: locate resources connect with peers brainstorm solutions design and deliver training “…Retellings help children rethink their way through a text, thereby enhancing their understanding” (Owocki, 1999). Spring 2003 The Power of Story Retelling By Akimi Gibson, Judith Gold, and Charissa Sgouros T Terrence has been tutoring Marisa, a second-grader, twice a week for a month and a half. Today, Terrence is introducing a new strategy to help Marisa develop her reading comprehension skills: story retelling. Terrence: I’m going to read aloud a short story called The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. After I finish, it will be your turn to tell the story back to me as well as you can. You’ll need to pretend I’m someone who doesn’t know the story at all, so listen carefully. There was once a wolf who grew tired of hunting for his food. “It’s such hard work and it’s no fun being shot at by angry farmers,” he said. So he thought of a clever plan. He decided to wrap himself in a sheepskin and live in a sheep pen. Then, when he grew hungry, he could kill a nice fat lamb for his dinner and not have to hunt to find it. However, that same night the farmer also decided that he would like lamb for dinner and went down to the sheep pen. It was very dark and the farmer grabbed and killed the first sheep he found. Imagine his surprise when he found he had killed a wolf. 1 Marisa: I bet he was surprised! ± (She laughs.)± Terrence: Now it’s your turn. Retell the± story to me. And remember, pretend I’ve± never heard it before.± What Is Story Retelling and Why Use It? Story retellings require the reader or listener to integrate and reconstruct the parts of a story. They reveal not only what readers or listeners remember, but also what they understand. Retellings build story comprehension. A wealth of research shows that reading aloud to young children supports specific aspects of their literacy development. The kinds of learning experiences that occur before, during, and after reading aloud have an equally important impact on literacy development. As far back as 1976, Zimiles and Kuhns suggested that the comprehension of six- to eight-year- olds significantly improved when they were asked to retell a story after it was read to them.
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2 Studies by Blank and Frank (1971), Zimiles and Kuhns (1976), and Morrow (1984, 1985, 1986) asked children to recall sections of a text or whole stories and examined the instructional benefits. Each study found a significant improvement in oral language complexity, story comprehension, and understanding of story structure. “Comprehension is
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This note was uploaded on 10/11/2011 for the course CIED 4233 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Oklahoma State.

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The Power of Retelling - tutor the Spring 2003 The Power of...

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