On the CELTA YL course I did a story retelling task. The students had watched a Shaun the Sheep video, and I’d pre-taught some of the tough vocab. After the video I wanted them to retell the story, but they needed a bit of scaffolding.
I gave them a set of sentence parts all chopped up. I modelled structuring one sentence, which showed them that the sentence order was colour coded (i.e. they knew each sentence would start with a blue part, have red in the middle and green at the end):
This helped them construct the sentences – they had some picture prompts too. They had to make sure the sentences were in the correct order (following the story). Then…
- I asked them to read through the sentences together to practise retelling the story
- I asked them to do it again, but this time include sequencing language (First, next, then, etc) and try to connect shorter sentences with conjunctions
- All the sentence parts are individual bits of paper, so I told them to remove 5 blue parts. They told the story again, remembering the info they’d removed
- I told them to remove X amount of green parts…
- Etc, until they could retell the story without support
What would make the activity better?
The segmentation of the sentence parts here is a bit random. You could get some better learning from it by colour coding with more purpose (noun phrases, verbs, etc). Mine’s a bit loose but I hope it gives some people an idea for scaffolding.
I’m writing a series of short posts in response to Martin Sketchley’s blog challenge. You can view his new blog here.