Retelling standards are a big deal in primary grades. That being said, they are also one of the most challenging for my little ones because SO MUCH goes into retelling a story: characters, setting, telling only the important events (not every single thing that happens…), and using transitional words like “First”, “Next”, “Last”. Grading my students on retelling is also extremely time consuming since it is done orally and one-on-one. Let’s be honest, listening to a retelling of the same book 18 times can be draining.
To make things more fun for my students AND more time-friendly for me, I’ve introduced the concept of Book Trailers. The idea behind these is to give a quick overview of the book, much like a movie trailer gives you a preview of the movie. A teacher friend of mine used these with her 5th graders and had great success, so I decided to modify things and bit and give it a try with my kinders.
I am a HUGE believer in giving students choice over their learning as much as possible, so I let the students choose any book from their book basket for this retelling activity. Many of them picked our familiar Star Books because we have worked with them A LOT and they were more comfortable with the story elements. Other students chose to branch out and select one of their Just Right or choice books from their book basket.
-Take a photo of your book in ChatterPix Kids, making sure you can see the whole front cover.
-Draw the “mouth” line either on the entire book OR on a character pictured on the cover.
-Record your book trailer, making sure to include the book’s title, characters, and a few key events.
*The free version of this app only allows for 30 seconds of audio recording, but this is a perfect way to encourage student to be concise and not retell every. single. event. from the story, as they often do.
The finished product
Have you tried Book Trailers in your classroom? Let me know in the comments below!