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Transcript of Cooperative Retell
is a summarizing lesson developed by Rachel Billmeyer, the author
of "Strategies to Engage the Mind of the Learner".
Students read for a purpose and by having students
retelling what they read, they are able to draw from
their prior knowledge, establish new knowledge,
and make connections. This lesson will help you,
the teacher, assess each of your students' understanding
of the text, by teaching you a strategy that students at every age can use.
When to use this Strategy
This strategy works best with students who already have an understanding of the reading and writing process. According to Billmeyer, this strategy can be used with all genres and is fantastic for when students need to paraphrase the text and show deep understanding. It can also help students understand different organizational patterns in writing (p.68, 2003).
After running through this beneficial retell strategy a
few times with your students, they will be able to successfully
retell the stories they read, highlighting the most
How to Use Cooperative Retell in the Classroom!
Do your students really know how to retell a story, or are they missing the point of a retell? As a reading teacher I have run into 2 problems with students when summarizing or retelling what they read.
1. They don’t give you enough details.
(These are the students that I question whether or not they understood what they read.)
2. They tell you everything that happens, leaving nothing to the imagination
or for the listener to discover on their own.
(These are story spoilers.)
“A Powerful way to assess whether students are able to understand and
reconstruct meaning of a selection they read”
–Rachel Billmeyer, Strategies to Engage the Mind of the Learner, 2003
story appropriately is important and will help them be successful through out their reading years.
In order for students to be good readers, learning how to summarize and retell a
How to Prepare
1. Select a text that suits your purpose
2. Introduce the genre of the chosen text
3. Have copies of text for each student
4. Have copies of appropriate graphic organizers
5. Put students in small groups (3-5)
Listen & Read
1.) Have students cover the text so only the title is showing. Then ask the students to make a prediction about the story based on the title.
2.) Read the text out loud 1 time to your students. Depending on the genre tell them what they should be listening for.
* Non-fiction- listen for new or interesting facts, * Fiction- Major Events, Story Elements
3. Have the students read the passage again silently or in groups (read 1 0r 2 more times)
Choose any text as your teacher practice text
Now it's your turn! In your small groups please complete steps 1-3
Independent Retell & Pair Share
4.) After students re-read the passage, pass out the graphic organizer of your choice.
5.) Have students fill out the graphic organizer based on your lessons purpose (Order of Events, New Facts, Cause and Effect)
6.) Once graphic organizers are complete have students compare their thoughts.
7.) Have students discuss their differences explaining why they feel something is more or less important.
Now its your turn! Please complete steps 4-5 on your own, step 6 as a group, and step 7 as a whole discussion
Writing Your Collaborative Retell
8.) Combine your students' ideas together to write a group summary. (This can also be done as a whole class)
* Have students take turns giving you sentences. Allow students to agree or disagree, as long as they give reasons.
Example: "I knew that Pill Bugs rolled up, so I think we should add they roll up because they are scared."
As a group it is your turn to write a Collaborative Retell. Have fun!
Documents and Websites
Here are some websites to pull articles from and graphic organizers to help your students stay organized. Mix and
match passages with graphic organizers to fit your needs.
Resources on Retelling
For more information on Retell & Summarizing
strategies please visit the sites below
Five Finger Rule
Strategies to use Before, After, and During reading (Retelling):
An example video on how this activity looks during small group instruction.
Billmeyer, R. (2003). Strategies to Engage the Mind of the Learner (First ed., Vol. 2, pp. 67-68). Omaha: Dayspring Printing.