TELL ME A STORY
Reading is an essential part of our learning. The English curriculum requires that students are able to retrieve information, summarise, deduct, predict and make inferences from texts, justifying their opinions.
You can support your child in developing these skills by discussing with them the stories they read. A useful strategy for doing this is the Five Finger Retell which reminds us of the five key points to discuss when retelling a story.
CHARACTER: stories revolve about the character. Encourage your child to discuss the character in detail by focusing on SAD (SPEECH. ACTION. DESCRIPTION). What does the character say? Can your child describe the character’s appearance? What are their actions? When discussing their opinion of the character, you may find it useful to refer to PEE. This strategy encourages your child to give their point of view((P) explain and justify their opinion (E) and give examples from the story to support this(E). Your child may enjoy drawing the character from the story and annotate their drawing with adjectives, phrases and quotes from the text.
SETTING: where and when is the story set. With your child discuss how the author uses the senses to engage and involve the reader. If you were in that setting what would you see and hear, or even feel and smell? Consider if overall the setting is a place where you would want to be; a place where you would feel safe or possibly a place that makes you feel uneasy.
PROBLEM: what happens in the story that requires the character to overcome a difficulty or difficulties? Discuss with your child how the author uses words and sentence structure to create the
atmosphere. Can you find examples where punctuation, short sentences and onomatopoeia have been used?
EVENTS: ask your child to discuss what happens in the story encouraging them to think about the beginning, middle and ending of the story.
SOLUTION: how does the character solve the problem? Were they surprised by how the problem was resolved?
Reading is an essential skill; it is a source of information and opens our minds to new experiences.