Retell the retell!.mov

Direct Instruction

This lesson shows me meeting with a turquoise group of readers, to further unpack the concept of 'retelling the story'. As you will see in the video, this is quite a reluctant and shy group, who have trouble providing information without teacher prompting. We meet to listen to and discuss retells done by their peers, from a slightly higher 'Purple' reading group. This ideally will inform our practice of then going on to record our own retelling of the story.

Extended Lesson Plan


This was a group lesson, taught in a slightly chaotic open space, consisting of 'one large class of 80'. It was an attempt to engage two reading groups with the same learning intention: We are learning to retell the story. By introducing a form of competition between the groups, I hoped to increase engagement (and therefore participation) in their independent learning time. I think the group discussion aspect was valuable for the turquoise readers to see how much important information had been left out of their peers' retells.

Despite this, it is still very much a work in progress to achieve the goal of confident independent retellers. I still had two children record themselves reading the book, page by page. Other children had appeared to make a good effort but are unpracticed at recording on their iPads and so much of the audio was muffled. We have done a couple of second attempts as a result!

I enjoyed the discussion we had during this lesson as well as the interest and interaction between the two groups as to what they have been reading. These Sunshine books were particularly fun and whimsical stories to retell I thought. This is not a 'one off and they'll get it' type of lesson, so I intend to revisit this lesson structure again and again in future.

Things to Note

We are still undergoing teaching and learning in a post-lockdown environment within our team. This means this lesson was filmed while school was not quite 'as usual' for us. We have been operating as one large class during this time, instead of our regular team of four classes. This has worked quite well for the most part, however, there has been some end of term restlessness creeping in this week as I filmed this video.

We will be returning to a more 'business as usual' approach next term, while keeping some of the things we have now learned, are working well for us.

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Charlotte Gaston

Pt England School,

Auckland, New Zealand

Manaiakalani Research

Manaiakalani Education Trust

PO Box 18 061, Glen Innes

Auckland, New Zealand