Wendy and Donna have been working with their students on retelling, using the signal words first-next-then-lastly to help them organize and synthesize the information from the story. Using fairy tales, they have been modeling how to retell effectively with their classes.
This work with first-next-then-lastly helps develop their retell skills and reinforces that all details do not need to be included. In the upper grades, students work with summarizing information, and it is work like this in the younger grades that helps to reinforce these reading strategies.
Wendy reads a version of Little Red Riding Hood to her class, moving into the retell afterwards, using the signal words on her whiteboard. As students think through the story, she scribes their ideas.
Donna is reading a version of The Three Little Pigs with her class and also working with the prompts to help guide her students with a retell of the story. Students share their ideas and Donna scribes on chart paper, pulling their ideas together.
Here are three different versions of Goldilocks used by Donna and Wendy:
In addition to explicitly teaching students this structure, Donna and Wendy have included the signal words in other aspects of their program.
Here is an explanation of an assignment their students worked on where the work is up on one of the bulletin boards. This is another way we can model the strategy, to help students see the connection between what they are doing and applying it to a different context.
In the morning message, the signal words are integrated into the text so students see how they can be used in a message. These connections are critical so students see that they are not simply words to use in a retell, but they are good to use in many different ways, as we sequence our ideas.