Retelling is a powerful way for students to learn language. They retell in their own words and using the context of “the story”, acquire language.
1. Find a set of stories for students to read. One for each student. (I like to use funny stories You could use any stories, folktales work well too) Give one to a student (one of your better students). Ask the student to go out of the classroom and read it carefully.
2. Tell or read the rest of the students a story and tell them to listen carefully because if they guess the ending, you’ll give them a prize. Stop before the punchline or ending and ask them if they can guess it.
3. Bring in the student who is outside. Ask them to retell their story to the class, stopping before the ending/punchline. Students listen and guess the ending.
4. Then, the class takes turns telling the first story, the teacher told. The student who went outside tries to guess the ending.
5. Give all students a story. Give them 3-5 minutes to understand and read, ask any questions about the text. Then, put students in groups of 3-4 and each student tells their story to others. Stopping so others can guess the punchline.
6. Give students in each group a number. The “1s” form a group. The “2s” etc… They retell their story a second time (and will do much better!).
7. Return to the first group. Students then must retell a story they were told by others in the last group!
8. Finish up by asking what were the best stories. Get some better students to retell to the whole group!