Elementary English Language Arts
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Assessment
Lower Elementary
IPad, Lesson Plan, Mac Apps, Retelling
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Media Formats:

Education Standards

Let's Retell a Story

Let's Retell a Story


First Grade Language Arts, Reading: Literature Standard 3--Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details. 
Students will be able retell the setting, characters, and major events in a story and will demonstrate this knowledge through creating a Keynote presentation.


1st Grade Language Arts Reading: Literature Standard 1: Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Students will be able to read/listen to a story (depending on ability) and "retell" the story using words, photos, drawings, etc. using the Let's Retell a Story Keynote template.

  • Time Frame: 30 minutes
  • Format: face-to-face or virtual
  • Group Size: individual, partners, or small groups


Background for Teachers

To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of story structure and story retelling.

You will need the following supplies:

  • Retell Review Video
  • Story books
  • Paper for students to draw/sketch out ideas before they get onto Keynote or Retell Map (attached)
  • iPad or Mac computers for individuals or groups of students
  • Let's Retell a Story Keynote Template
  • Example of Let's Retell a Story Mrs. Golding 

Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

Students will be able to retell a story of their choice using a digital platform. Students may use words or pictures to explain each part of the story structure: characters, setting, and plot.

Success Criteria:

  • Students will successfully add words/pictures to a Keynote template to retell the important parts of a story.

Step 2 - Planning Instruction

Step 2 Planning Instruction

Student Background Knowledge

  • Students need to know the key elements of story structure and the importance of using them to retell what they have read.
  • Students will need knowledge and prior practice to using Keynote: adding text boxes, adding shapes/images, and inserting/resizing them into the template.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Students with diverse needs may work with a partner who has read or is interested in reading the same book. 

Step 3 - Instruction

Step 3 Instruction

This lesson and activity should be used after students are familiar with the retell process. 

Teacher will ask students who can tell what important things we need when we retell a story. Lead a quick discussion about the key components of a retell.

Watch the Retelling Video together. 

Read aloud a picture book to the class and work together to retell it by having students take turns naming the characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end.

When you are done have the students choose a book (and a partner if desired) that they will read. When they are done they can write/draw things to help them remember the key elements on the Retell Map (attached) or just on paper.

Show the students the example of the Keynote that you have previously prepared. Explain that the students will do the same using words or pictures to retell their story in the same way. When they are done (and if time permits) they can share their project with a neighbor. 


Step 4 - Assessments

Step 4 Assessments

Teacher will informally assess as they observe the students. Keynote presentation will show student knowledge of the story they chose and will be scored using a rubric. See attached rubric template to be used for grading.