• Sarah Boron-Trotter

5 Ways to Retell a Story in Speech Therapy

Updated: 2 days ago

Hi friends!


Here are 5 different ways you can target story retell skills in your therapy sessions! The ideas are presented in order of increasing independence and fading prompting.

  1. Walk through the book and have the student identify the story grammar elements with story grammar icons.

  2. SLP draws pictography representing the story grammar elements, and the student retells the story using the drawings and story grammar icons.

  3. Have the student draw pictography representing the story grammar elements and then retell the story using the drawings and story grammar icons.

  4. Retell the story using story grammar icons without the book or pictography.

  5. Retell the story only relying on story grammar icons as needed.

Let's take a deeper look at each of these ideas!


💡 IDEA #1

Walk through the book and have the student IDENTIFY the story grammar elements with story grammar icons.

➡️ Be sure to re-read the story more than once to ensure the student comprehends what occurred in the story, who the characters were, etc.


➡️ Choose a set of story grammar icons and stick with them! This provides consistency and allows the student to make connections between the icons and the concepts that they represent (e.g. main character, setting, initiating event, etc.). You can display the story grammar icons as laminated cards or on popsicle sticks!


➡️ After re-reading the story, open the book and have the student identify each of the story grammar elements. This is perfect for students who really need the visual support from the pictures in the book!

➡️ You can provide additional support by using a verbal sentence starter or sentence frame like, “The story was about…”

➡️ Once the student has identified a story grammar element, be sure to explicitly state the element (e.g. “You found the main character! The main character is Sneezy the snowman.”) and connect it to the story grammar icon (e.g. hold up the story grammar icon and ask “Who is the main character?”).


🌟 SUMMARY: Idea #1 involves looking at the pictures/text in the book and having a discussion about each story grammar element using story grammar icons.


💡 IDEA #2

SLP draws pictography representing the story grammar elements, and the student retells the story using story grammar elements.

➡️ Start by opening the book and having the student identify each of the story grammar elements using the pictures/text for support (just like we talked about for Idea #1).

➡️ This time, the SLP can make simple drawings (or pictography) to represent each story grammar element.

➡️ Once the student has identified all of the elements using the book and you have made simple drawings to represent each element, close the book and have the student retell the story using your drawings and the story grammar icons.

➡️ You can provide additional support by modeling retelling the story using the drawings before asking the student to do so.


🌟 SUMMARY: Idea #2 involves looking at the pictures/text in the book, having a discussion about each story grammar icon, and retelling the story using SLP drawn pictography.


💡 IDEA #3

Have the student draw pictography representing the story grammar elements and then retell the story using story grammar icons.

➡️ Take out your story grammar icons and discuss each story grammar element individually.

➡️ Have the student create simple drawings to represent each individual story grammar element.

➡️ Refer to the pictures and text in the book as needed.

➡️ Once the student made simple drawings to represent each element, have the student retell the story using their own drawings and the story grammar icons.


🌟 SUMMARY: Idea #3 involves having a discussion about each story grammar icon, using the pictures/text in the book as needed, and retelling the story using student drawn pictography.


💡 IDEA #4

Retell the story using story grammar icons without the book or pictography.


➡️ Take out your story grammar icons and have the student retell the story using the icons as a visual cue.


➡️ This can be done orally or written using a graphic organizer.

➡️ Shake things up by using a graphic organizer, white board, sticky notes, or writing directly on a table with a dry erase marker. You can also complete this type of task while co-treating with an OT!


🌟 SUMMARY: Idea #4 involves retelling the story orally or in written format using story grammar icons and/or a graphic organizer.


💡 IDEA #5

Retell the story only relying on story grammar icons as needed.

➡️ Have the student retell the story orally or in written format without the story grammar icons.

➡️ Prompt verbally or with story grammar icons as needed.

➡️ Celebrate all the amazing progress your student has made! 😊


🌟 SUMMARY: Idea #5 involves retelling the story orally or in written format without story grammar icons .


I hope that was helpful! If you have any other fun and engaging ways of targeting story retell using story grammar elements drop me a comment!


Have a wonderful week!

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