As we teach our first graders to retell a story orally and to write a response to literature that includes a retelling, we often use a graphic organizer to help our youngest hold the story in their heads. One of the graphic organizers we use with our Kevin Henkes Author Study is below.
The triangle represents the beginning of the story and includes the characters, setting, and problem. The three rectangles represent the middle and main events in the story and the circle represents the ending solution. This simple structure often helps students recall the entire story and sequence so that they can retell and write the story that they have heard or read.
Below is a sample of the students holding each part of the organizer so that they can talk through the pieces of the story as a class before they "turn and talk" their way through the story with a partner before they individually write their response to literature.