Written by Regina De Canto, M.S, CCC-SLP
How often do you ask your child “What did you do at school today?” or “What was the story about” only to get a 1- or 2-word response?
Well, those questions ask our kids to RETELL! Story recall or retelling involves a lot of different language and executive function processes such as comprehending a story, organizing their thoughts in a sequential order, and then expressing themselves in a way that is understood to the listener. This simple task can be quite complex for some of our little storytellers!
There are many fun ways we can work on retelling skills at home!
Sometimes writing a summary of a story can be frustrating because your child is so focused on spelling, grammar, when to use a capital letter, or punctuation marks…Yikes! Drawing is an exciting opportunity for your child to express themselves and help organize their thoughts when they are recalling a story or event. Draw a line to separate your paper into 2 or 3 sections for your child to draw a picture of what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Then, have your child tell about each picture in their own words!
Kids love to be silly! Role playing is a great way to act out the different events of the story and spark imagination and creativity with your child. Have your child act out the different events in the story as the main character. They can explore using silly voices or facial expressions to match the character!
Print out pictures of holidays or vacations and glue them on to construction paper to make your child’s very own photo album! Having photos of their special day will encourage your child to reminisce on how much fun they had and talk through the details of their day.
Grab your child’s favorite stuffed animal, action figure, or doll and play out the story. Pretend play is a fantastic approach for our young or shy kids! Each toy can be a different character to reenact the story while you are also playing to facilitate the storyline.
Retelling is such an important communicative and academic skill. We use these skills in various ways from summarizing a book we’ve read to talking about our favorite birthday memory. You can help your child with these skills in a variety of fun ways that will make them feel unique and special!