Retelling of The Tiny Seed

Retelling of The Tiny Seed

Summary: Literature Standard 2 In this lesson, students will be able to retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

This lesson teaches students the process of sequencing a story using the words first, next, then, and last. The lesson provides opportunities for students to write, draw (or glue), listen, and speak. This could be also done virtually. 

  • Time frame: 45-60 Minutes
  • Format: face-to-face or virtual


Background for Teachers

To teach this lesson you must have a basic understanding of the life cycle of a seed:

The seed falls from the plant, goes dormant for the winter, with sun and rain in the spring it spouts into a healthy plant if it isn't disturbed, in the summer it blooms.                       

The teacher can watch or read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle 

Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes


Students will be able to...

Knowledge: The students will learn to retell a story using story elements to improve their comprehension of the story.

Skills: Students will be able to identify the problem, solution, setting and the characters of the story. Students will use the basic story elements to help them retell the story.

Step 2 - Planning Instruction


Student Background Knowledge

Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of:

  • sequence in a story
  • the words first, next, then, and last in context of retelling a story. 

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Review any vocabulary from the book that might be difficult:

  • drift
  • settle
  • bud
  • autumn
  • spring
  • summer
  • winter
  • sways
  • sails

Step 3 - Instruction

Opening to Lesson

  • To introduce the sequencing lesson and gain students' attention, the teacher can tell a silly "out-of-order" story about his/her day. For example : "This morning, I woke up and ate dinner. Then, I put my pajamas on and went to school. Next , I brushed my teeth played with my friends".
  • This can lead into a conversation about the importance of putting events in order.
  • Introduce the concept of sequencing.

Body of Lesson

  • Read the story "The Tiny Seed" by Eric Carle
  • Stop throughout the story to ask questions using Think-Pair-Share
    • What happens to the seed in autumn?
    • What carries the seed away?
    • What happens to the seed in winter?
    • What happens to the seed in the spring?
    • What does the seed need to grow?
    • What happens to the seed in the summer?
  • On the board or a large poster that already has the words first, second, next, then, and last written on it.  The words are ordered like a train.  There will be an arrow starting at first and pointing to last.
  • Use the pre-made story/picture cards to sequence the events in the story.
  • To check for understanding, you can intentionally place some cards in the incorrect place to see if students are following along.
  • You can use gestures and body language to help convey the words.
  • You can use slower speech with physical cues and clear articulation when approaching key topics.

Guided Practice

  • Students will be divided into 4 groups.
  • Each group will be given an event from the story to illustrate.  They will work together to delegate responsibilities and roles.
  • After the students illustrate their scene, we will gather together on the rug.
  • Students will put the events in order.
  • They will use a bold marker to add the words first, second, next, then, and last to each drawing.
  • As a class, we will go over their work, as we order the events  by using the sequencing words (first, second, next, then, last).

Independent Practice

  • Students will work independently to sequence the events from "The Tiny Seed".
  • Students can draw the sequence of events in the story or cut and paste. 
  • Students will be able to retell the story using their individual story boards.