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Language and Communication recall story details and retell them  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


The child will listen to a story, description or explanation and recall the key details. They will retell them either by retelling the story or by answering questions.

Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Listening
P-scales/Curriculum level:L2b
TAP skill:Understanding of Language/Comprehension
TAP level:TAP68
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments

Stories the child is unfamiliar with. They can be extracts from reading books or made up.

Photocopy of the story (optional)

1. Explain to the child that they are going to tell a story. You are going to tell it first and then it will be their turn.

2. Tell the story. It should be about 150 - 200 words. Make sure that there is enough detail in the section you have chosen or in the story you have made up.

3. Have the child tell the story back to you, or to another child.

4. Look at the photocopy of the story together and highlight all the details the child remembered (optional).

You can have the child use a puppet when they are telling the story


Story, description or explanation the child is unfamiliar with.

Photocopy of this (optional)

Explain to the child that you are going to have a quiz. You are going to read something out, and then there will be quiz questions on it.

Read out the story / description / explanation. It should be about 100 - 200 words, and have a good amount of detail.

Ask the child some quiz questions, with points or rewards for every one they are able to answer.

If the child is finding it very difficult, make your questions easier, so that the child finishes the activity with success. You can ask easier questions, give the child clues (e.g. multiple choice answers) or read part of the story / description / explanation again.


Story, description or explanation the child is unfamiliar with.

Photocopy of this (optional)

Pens and paper or whiteboards

This activity is for a pair or group of children.

Explain that you are going to practise sending secret messages to each other.

Choose one child to receive the message and one to take it to them.

Give the first child a verbal message to give to the second child. The second child should note down the details of the message.

Check how successful the message was against your copy.

If you can, try and put yourselves at different ends of the room so the second child cannot hear the message when you say it!

You could make the activity more interesting by setting the scene and sending the messages in character - e.g. shopping, an adventure story or something related to a literacy or history topic.

Comprehension Activities

Curriculum topic activities

This skill is of course used all the time in curriculum work. Being aware of the child's need to develop this skill means that you can support them to work on it in the class based lessons too.

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