Literature, Theater, Visual Art, English Language Arts, Elementary English Language Arts, Educational Technology, Technology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Assessment, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan, Reading
Lower Elementary
  • Apple Keynote
  • Art
  • Beginning
  • Characters
  • Computer
  • End
  • Lesson Plan
  • Middle
  • Parts of a Story
  • Retelling
  • Setting
  • Slideshow
  • Story Comprehension
  • Technology
  • Vocalizations
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, eBook, Graphics/Photos, Interactive, Text/HTML

    Education Standards

    Digital Story Comprehension and Retelling

    Digital Story Comprehension and Retelling


    In this lesson, students will be asked to read a grade level appropriate story and make a digital storyboard that includes the basic elements of the story. These elements are: characters, setting, beginning, middle and end.  They will illustrate the key elements of the story and use Apple Keynote to create and present a digital slideshow retelling of the story. 


    In this lesson, students will be asked to read a grade level appropriate story and make a storyboard that includes the basic elements of the story. These elements are: characters, setting, beginning, middle and end.  They will illustrate the key elements of the story and use Apple Keynote to create and present a digital slideshow retelling of the story. 

    • This lesson can be completed in in two mini lessons (aproximately 45 min each in length). 
    • This lesson will follow a synchronous format. However, the second part of the lesson could be completed in an asynchronous fashion.


    Background for Teachers

    -Teachers should have a relatively clear knowledge of how to use Apple Keynote on a Mac computer.  For additional help in learning more about these applications consider signing up for a free account at  Go to "Start your Apple Teacher Journey" to sign up for an account. Then go to "Find tutorials" and then "learn skills" to learn more about each Apple resource. I have also attached a How to create a basic Keynote slide show tutorial.

    -Teachers should have a prior knowledge of each individual students appropriate reading level and have selected books for the students to read that coorespond with those levels. For help determining reading levels, use this resource:




    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

    Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

    Learning Intentions:

    -Students will be able to read a story at their appropriate reading level and show comprehension by retelling the story using the slideshow tool in Apple Keynote.

    - In their presentation, they should include slides identifying the beginning, middle and end of the story, as well as slides representing the characters and setting.

    -They will demonstrate proficiency in using Apple Keynote as they add slides and use the microphone feature to retell their story in their slideshow.

    Success Criteria:

    -A Rubic & student self assessment will be used to determine that the students have created a slideshow with all of the features listed below:

    -Students will create at least 5 slides.  

    -At least 1 slide will represent each of the following key componants in a story: Characters, setting, Beginning, middle and end.

    -Each slide will contain an image, (which could be a picture of a drawing, or graphic art made using shapes, or an image made using computer drawing tools) that visually represent each of the slide topics.

    - Students will record themselves retelling the story and have vocalizations added to each slide.

    -There should be at least 5 vocalizations, 1 for each of the following: characters, setting, beginning, middle and end.

    -Students will present their slideshow to the class or share with the teacher.




    Step 2 - Planning Instruction

    Step 2 Planning Instruction

    Student Background Knowledge

    -Prior to this lesson, students should already be familiar with Apple Keynote and how to create a slide.  This could be taught in a previous lesson.  Students should also be familiar with what the following different elements of a story are: Setting, Characters, Beginning, Middle and End.  Attached are a couple of videos you could use in a lesson to help students understand the parts of the story. They should also be familiar with how to fill in a basic storyboard.

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    -Prior to this lesson, the teacher should have selected a few books on each students individual reading level that they could select from when doing this assignment. This may be an individual packet of books assigned to each student, or a teacher's collection of baskets of books at each reading level.  Each student should be given a book they can successfully read and understand.

    -For those who are not at a high enough reading level to read a book on their own, consider having them listen to an audio story on youtube.  I have attached one resource, (Storytime at Awnie's house) below.

    -For those who struggle with technology, consider assigning a student buddy to help them navigate Keynote.  

    -For those students who need extension activities, have them create additional slides to add more detail to the story.  They could also add text boxes where they write a summary of each section of the story as well.  

    -For those who need a little more structure, consider having them fill out a paper storyboard first, so that when they get onto Keynote, they know exactly what slides they will want to create and in which order.



    Step 3 - Instruction

    Step 3 Instruction


    -Read the students the story of "The Kissing Hand" or show it on Youtube. 

    -Review the definitions of setting and characters.  Have students identify the setting and characters in the story.  Then, discuss as a class what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of "The Kissing Hand".  As you are discussing this, have the students fill out a paper storyboard.  

    -Explain to the students that when we can recall theses important parts of the story, it shows that we understand (or comprehend) what we are reading.  

    -Ask the students why it is important to understand what we are reading.  Discuss how we can not really learn anything from what we are reading unless we understand it.  Give examples of times you or someone you know did not understand what you/they read, and how it affected you/them. Have the students give additional examples.

    -Tell the students that we are going to practice retelling stories so that we can make sure we understand what we are reading.

    -Tell the students that they are going to make aother storyboard for a book (on their level) of their choice. However, this time,they are going to make it on the computer using slides in Apple Keynote.  

    -Remind them of what they learned about making slides on Keynote (in a previous lesson). Go over the basic features of Keynote. Remind them and give a basic demonstration of how to add slides, text, images and audio.

    -Show the students my example slideshow of "The Kissing Hand".

    - Help them see how each of my slides contains an important element of the story.  Point out that each slide has a picture that either I drew or created or imported that goes with each element of my storyboard.

    -Show them how each of my slides includes an audio file that talks about that part of the story.  

    -Then go over the student assessment.  Explain your expectations. Tell them that before they are finished, they will need to fill out the student assessment.  In order to get full points, they must have at least one slide for each of the elements that we discussed, (setting, characters, beginning, middle and end).  Each of those slides must also have a picture and an audio file that goes along with that part of the story.  

    -Show them how they can draw a picture and upload it to the computer using the camera on their screen.

    -When they have edited their slideshow, they will need to share their slide show. You may decide as a teacher how you would like this done.  You may choose to take an afternoon where everyone presents, or you may have them share with a small group, or send their presentation to you. 

    -Give the students direction as to which books they can choose from.  Give them time to select a book. If students can not read well enough to complete the assignment, allow them to select a digital book from a read aloud webpage such as "Storytime at Awnies house" attached below.

    -Allow them time to read and reread the book if necessary.  For those who would benefit from mapping the story as they go along, give them a paper copy of a storyboard.  

    -Once the students have read their story, they may begin creating their slideshow in Keynote.

    Part 2:

    -Today will be a catch up day.  

    -Spend a small amount of time reviewing the features of Keynote and answering any questions the students may have. --Allow the students additional time to finish their slideshow presentations and edit them.

    -For those who have first filled out a paper storyboard, they will be transferring their thoughts to Keynote. This will take the majority of the time.

    -If students are early finishers, have them add additional slides for detail, or add text boxes to slides & type in their summaries.  You may also use them to help students who are struggling.  

    -Students will then share their presentations in whichever way you decide is appropriate for your class. 





    Step 4 - Assessments

    Step 4 Assessments

    Students will create a slideshow in Apple Keynote to show mastery of the following:

    -Ability to read and understand a text at their current reading level.

    -Ability to use the computer program Apple Keynote to create a slideshow presentation with vocalizations.

    -Ability to retell a story identifying the beginning, middle and ending, as well as the characters and setting.

    - Ability to present their retelling to a group or the teacher.

    -Students will also be closely observed along the way to determine strengths and weaknesses. Those who need additional help with elements of the assignment will be given additional one on one guidance to assure successful completion of the assignment.

    -Students will do a self assessment (attached below) to determine if they have completed all of the steps possible.

    -Students will be graded by the teacher using a rubric attached below.