Instructional Practice
Tier I

Reading selections

Target Student

All students can benefit from this instructional practice, particularly those that struggle with reading comprehension.


In retelling, students will retell the events in a passage they have either read or heard.


This is an instructional practice. An instruction practice is a teaching method that guides interactions in the classroom and supports student learning. Instructional practices involve an educator using particular method, practice, or protocol during instruction.

How To

When teaching students to use this practice, follow the steps of explicit instruction (explanation, modeling, guided practice, independent practice).

During explanation, the teacher first describes the retell strategy. Next, they should explain when the strategy is used and why it is important.

Subsequently, the teacher should begin to model the retell strategy. First, either students or the teacher should read a short selection. The teacher would then model how to perform each step of the strategy by telling the students what s/he learned first, what s/he learned next, etc. until the retell is finished. The Using different short passages, the teacher should model at least three times before beginning guided practice.

During guided practice, students should be asked to describe the strategy, explain when it is used and why it is important. Care should be taken to ensure each student is able to respond to the teacher’s queries. Next, the teacher should read a selection to the students. Students should then be led through each step of the strategy (What did you learn first? What did you learn next?) until the retell is completed.

During independent practice, pair students. After they read a selection or have a selection read to them, students should take turns retelling what they learned.


Adapted from Haager, D., Dimino, J. A., & Windmueller, M. P. (2007). Interventions for reading success. London: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.


Koskinen, P. S., Gambrell, L. B., Kapinus, B. A., & Heathington, B. S. (1988). Retelling: A strategy for enhancing students' reading comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 41(9), 892-896.

Morrow, L. M. (1985). Retelling stories: A strategy for improving young children's comprehension, concept of story structure, and oral language complexity. The Elementary School Journal, 85(5), 647-661.

Related Resources

Interventions for Reading Success

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