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Lesson Plans
Familiar Storytelling

CCSS Reading/Literature: RL.K.2, RL.K.3
  • With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
  • With prompting and support, identify characters, settings and major events in a story.
Materials Needed

Read aloud Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Caralyn Buehner or The Three Bears by Paul Galdone. As you read aloud, stop during parts of the text and point out specific story elements and details—such as the setting, the sizes of the bears, the description of Goldilocks and so on.


  1. Explain to students that they will learn more about the elements of a fiction story (characters, setting, problem, etc.) and will retell a story using these elements.
  2. Explain that when an author writes a fiction story, she introduces us to the characters in the story, describes the setting (where and when the story takes place) and then tells us about the problem and solution in the story.
  3. Write the following poem on chart paper (or display it on a document camera or whiteboard). Explain to students that it may help them remember the important story elements when retelling a story.

    • Retelling a story is easy to do.
    • First I share the title and author with you.
    • The setting tells you the when and the where,
    • And the characters describe the what or the who.
    • The problem tells you what has gone wrong,
    • And then we can move the story along.
    • I tell you in order what happens and when
    • From beginning to middle,
    • Then finally the end!
    • When the problem is solved, there is no doubt
    • The solution is what made it all work out!

  4. Hold up the Retelling a Story chart (or display it on the document camera or whiteboard). Explain to students that the words in bold text in the poem—and the words listed on the chart—are elements, or parts, of a fiction story. Invite students to look back at the story you just read and help you identify the story elements in it. Then fill out the chart together. For example, write the following, pointing out the location of this information in the text:
    • Title: Goldilocks and the Three Bears or The Three Bears
    • Author: Caralyn Buehner or Paul Galdone
    • Setting: “Once upon a time” or “the little house in the woods”
    • Characters: Middle-Sized/Great Big/Little Wee Bears or Papa/Mama/Little Wee Bears—and Goldilocks
    • Problem: Someone enters the bears’ home, and they don’t know who it is.
    • Beginning: The three bears decide to take a walk while their porridge is cooling.
    • Middle: Goldilocks sees the bears’ house in the woods, enters the house and helps herself to all their belongings.
    • End: The bears come home and discover that Goldilocks has been inside their home, and she is still there!
    • Solution: The bears find Goldilocks sleeping in Little Wee Bear’s bed. When she awakes, she is so startled that she runs away—and they never hear from her again.
  5. Tell students, “Now you will practice retelling the story, using finger puppets as the characters! Retelling a story is when you share the important story parts in the right order. You can use the chart we completed together to help you. Start from the beginning, then go to the middle, and then the end, making sure you share all the important details.” If desired, you can model this activity for students by using the Storytelling Glove and Three Bears puppets.

Guided Practice

  1. Provide students with a copy of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears storyboard page to color and cut out.
  2. Give students a copy of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears finger-puppet cutouts and have them color and cut them out. (You may want to precut the finger puppets for younger students.)
  3. Help students tape each character puppet to one or two individual fingers (or tape/glue them onto the fingers of recycled gloves). Tell students that, once the glue has dried, they will retell the adventures of Goldilocks and the three bears using their fingers or gloves!
  4. Encourage students to use their finger puppets and storyboard backdrops to retell the story.

Independent Practice

Invite students to take their Goldilocks and the Three Bears finger puppets home and practice retelling the story for their family and friends!

Learning Extension

Give students plenty of practice with story retelling by repeating this lesson using other familiar books from our Folk Tales and Fairy Tales Paperback Library.

View the preschool–kindergarten lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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