Students retell a story to reinforce sequencing.
- Bubba the Cowboy Prince by Helen Ketteman; 1997
- Cindy Ellen by Susan Lowell; ISBN 0-439-27006-5
- Dusty Locks and The Three Bears by Susan Lowell; ISBN 0-8050-5862-1
- Jack and the Giant, A Story Full of Beans by Jim Harris
- Little Red Cowboy Hat by Susan Lowell; 2000
- The Cowboy and the Black-Eyed Pea by Tony Johnston; ISBN 0-698-11356-X
- The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell; 1992
- The Tortoise and the Jack Rabbit by Susan Lowell; 1994
Background for Teachers
This activity focuses on retelling and performing a story that
has been formatted from a traditional version to the setting of the Old
West. When retelling a story to someone else, it is important to have
the sequence and all parts to the story in correct order. The beginning
of a story generally tells who the characters in the story are and what
the problems may be. The middle generally explains what attempts
were made to solve the problems, and the end generally has the
solution, results, and how the story ends. For this activity, students
should be familiar with the original tale so they will see the parallel
between the original and the adapted version. As you are preparing to
retell/role-play the story, you will need to discuss the main characters
the students will be portraying and decide what simple props, if any,
may be helpful in telling the story.
Intended Learning Outcomes
2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.
Invitation to Learn
Read any traditional version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. On a day
shortly following the telling of that story; tell the students that you
know another character that was very much like the boy who cried
wolf. Pull a headband with a long horn on it from a bag and put it on
a student who you think will be able to carry the character of "Leo the
Longhorn". Tell the students that you will be the narrator of this story
and they will help you tell it.
- Tell students that some of them are going to be an actress or
an actor today. Other students may help out with the "sound
track" portion of the story.
- Explain the duties of the different characters within the story
and practice their parts.
- As a class, make or gather props, create scenery or simply
decide to tell the story with verbal and rhythm props only. A
pattern for horns for the cows is included in this document.
Vest patterns for the cowboys will be available at the academy.
Use plastic drinking cups or your hands to make galloping
sounds. You may want to make a simple paper fire for the
cowboys to gather around. You can use a large trashcan
for the bear cave. Stick horses can be made from mops or
brooms. A horse head pattern is included in this document.
Get inexpensive cowboy hats through retail outlets or let the
students bring their own from home.
- Assign each student a part in the retelling/role-playing.
Everyone should have a role, either as characters or sound
Characters/sound production: Leo the Longhorn, The Bear,
Cowboys, Long horns and galloping sounds.
- Arrange the room as you see fit and pass out props to students.
- Retell/role play the characters and actions of the story as
teacher/student retells the story using the narration as a guide.
- Allow students to use instruments or their hands to keep a beat
and rhythm as the horses gallop to the longhorns and then back
to their bedrolls.
- Use creative skills to determine how the longhorns, cowboys
and bear will act out their parts.
- Working in cooperative groups, have students create a group
storyboard by illustrating the beginning, middle, and end of this
story or other stories.
- Write questions about the story and let the students take turns
choosing a question and then sharing the answer with their
- Read other stories that have been adapted from traditional tales,
then compare and contrast the two stories.
- Have family members read stories to the students that are
adaptations of traditional stories. Supply the parents with a list
of these types of books.
- Students could have their family act out traditional tales and
videotape it for Show and Tell.
- Have family members help make the props for the role-play.
- Invite family members to come and watch the role-play.
- Observe to see that the whole class is participating in the
retelling/role playing of the story.
- Have students verbally identify the characters in the story.
- Have students write about or illustrate their favorite part of the
- Have students compare the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf and
Leo the Longhorn.
Rimaly, B.K.; (1999) Increasing the Literacy Growth of Kindergarten Students through
Developmentally Appropriate Emergent Literacy (ERIC-Education Resource
Information Center) ED 43761
Using integrated thematic units that incorporate emergent
literacy instructional strategies such as read-alouds, story retelling using
props, shared reading, acquisition of vocabulary, music, art and
writing activities enhances learning.
Marjanovic-Umek, L., Kranjc, S., Fekonja, U.; (2002) Developmental Levels of the Child's
Storytelling. (ERIC Education Resource Information Center) ED468 907
Storytelling skills of children between four and eight years of age
can provide insights into overall language development. This study
explored the development of children's storytelling, using story coherence and story cohesion to evaluate the developmental level of
the child's storytelling.