School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 2

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 6. Determine important ideas and messages in literary texts

Objective c. Retell the text or part of the text


Explain to students that retelling stories is a way that we can remember and understand what we have read. In order to retell a story it will be necessary to read it more than one time. The more times that a reader rereads a story the more complete the retelling will be. To help a reader recall the important details and events in order, he/she may use props, the book, or a story map. It is important that students understand that retelling doesn’t mean they have to memorize the author’s exact words, however, they should incorporate the significant story vocabulary and character names in the retelling.


Choose a familiar, favorite class read aloud story. After reading the story, introduce a retelling checklist similar to the one below. Discuss how it may help students remember the important things to say in a retelling. Retell the story that was read aloud. Have students check to see if all of the items from the checklist were included in the retelling.

Retelling Checklist
1. Introduce the story by saying the title and author.
2. Name the main characters and give a short description of each.
3. Use specific words to tell when and where the story takes place.
4. Describe the problem that the characters are trying to solve in the story.
5. Retell the events in the order that they happened in the story.
6. Tell how the story problem was solved.
7. Tell how the story ends.



Have students select a narrative text that they would like to retell. Encourage students to reread the text and use the checklist as a guide to plan a retelling. Allow students to use props, story illustrations or a story map to help in the retelling. Divide the students into triads. Have the students retell their story to the group members. Group members can use the checklist to prompt the speaker if he/she leaves out important parts.


Over the next several guided reading lessons in small group, have students take turns sharing a retelling of an independently read text (a different story than the one used above). Guide peer feedback and provide teacher feedback to the student on the completeness of the retelling using the retelling checklist.