Retelling Center

One of the centers that drives me the craziest in kinder is the "reading" center. It's hard to find books the kiddos can read and it's hard to keep them engaged.

So, I decided to turn my "reading" center into the retelling center. It has worked out wonderfully. The kids really love it.

Before introducing this center, I took some of our beloved fairy tales and folk tales like Three Little Pigs, Little Red Hen, and Three Billy Goats Gruff and really focused our read aloud time on them.... We read them over and over again! In whole group, I had the kids help me retell the story and act out the different parts with great details. These were great lessons in and of themselves. However, I had a higher purpose for them.......These lessons were to become the foundation for the new retelling center.

At first, I took 2 folk tales and modeled how to use the retelling pieces as a way to "read" the story. This helped the kiddos be super successful!

Over the next few weeks (as they got really good at retelling), I slowly added in some puzzles that matched the stories. I have a Three Little Pigs puzzle the kids adore. As they complete the puzzle they are retelling the story. (I love listening to little ones retell a story with excitement:0)

After the kids were really good at retelling and using the story puzzles.....I decided it was time to add in the puppets:0) Oh yeah! You heard me right! Now the kids can make their own stick puppets for retelling. This activity made an already great center into a fantastic center! Each week kids can't wait for their turn to make puppets so they can retell great stories.

                                                                                                 (sorry about the sideways photo - I can't figure out how to rotate it :0(


  1. Can I come be a student in your class? Now? Please? Great idea Jeannie! I have been listening to Rachel (how did our kids get to be 4? Happy birthday to your son by the way - Rachel's is next week) retell stories we've read to her. The details, the drama, the emotion. She's gonna be my theatrical one. Don't know where she gets it.

  2. What a wonderful idea!! I teach first and have the same issue! Where do you find all your materials for this center?

  3. Susan - I know!!! 4!!! unbelievable!

    meadowt - Thanks! The kids LOVE making the puppets. I just search on the net and find them!

  4. Great ideas! It feels so good when you "conquer" a center that initially left you scratching your head, doesn't it?

  5. oh Lisa - absolutely! I think reading center in kindergarten, while super important, is difficult! It can't look like the reading centers in an older grade. I love when I can get my kids actively engaged - literally! :0)