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Retelling: Beginning, Middle, and End

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Retelling: Beginning, Middle, and End
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2

Basics on the topic Retelling: Beginning, Middle, and End

Do you want to learn to retell a story using story elements? Learn about story retelling strategies and elements of a story through our video, activities, and story retelling worksheets for the 1st grade!

Story Elements – Definition

To make the story interesting and structured, authors use story elements. The key elements of a story are characters, plot, setting, theme, and conflict.

Characters are people, animals, or other creatures in a story. There are main and secondary characters. Main characters play the most important role in the story, while secondary characters do not have a lot of influence on the plot.

Plot is a series of events that happen in a story. The key parts of the plot are beginning, middle, and end.

Setting is where and when a story takes place. Setting includes the place (city, country, area) and the time (present, future, or past).

Theme is the lesson or a message of a story. A story can have more than one theme supported by different ideas.

Conflict is the main problem that the characters are trying to solve in a story. Conflicts can be external (between two people) and internal (when a person has a conflict with themselves and doesn’t know what decision to make).

Story Elements – Beginning, Middle, and End

Oftentimes we want to tell someone about a book, a movie, or a show that we enjoyed. To do this, we use retelling.

What is retelling of a story?

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Re- means again and telling is when you talk about something. So, retelling means to tell or talk about something again.

When retelling a story, we don’t need to remember all the details. We only need to talk about important parts, otherwise our description becomes too long.

We can use retelling strategies to improve comprehension and to make our retelling more structured. For example, BME strategy is a way of retelling a story using such plot elements as beginning, middle, and end.

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When retelling using the BME strategy, we integrate the story elements into our tale.

The first part of every story is the beginning. When describing the beginning, we can mention the characters, setting, and important events that happen in the first part of a story. We can use words like in the beginning or * it all started when*.

The middle is what happens after the beginning of a story. When describing the middle, we introduce a conflict that happens in a story. We can use phrases like in the middle or after that.

The end is the final part of a story, where the main conflict gets resolved. We use words like in the end or finally to talk about the ending of a story.

Using Story Elements in Retelling

Let’s take a look at one of the story retelling examples. It uses a BME strategy to retell a famous fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood”.

It all started when a girl called Little Red Riding Hood went to visit her grandma, who lived in the woods. After that, she arrived at her grandma’s house but saw a wolf who ate her grandma and wanted to eat her, too. In the end, the brave huntsman rescued both the girl and her grandma. They were very grateful and happy to see each other!

The first sentence describes the beginning and mentioned the characters (Little Red Riding Hood and her grandma), and the setting (the woods). The next sentence describes middle and addresses the conflict (wolf eating the girl’s grandma). At the end, we describe how the conflict gets resolved (the huntsman rescues the girl and her grandma).

Story Elements – Summary

Let’s review what we learned about elements of a story.

There are five main story elements: characters, plot, setting, theme, and conflict.

  • Characters are people, animals, or other creatures in a story.

  • Plot is a series of events that happen in a story.

  • Setting is where and when a story takes place.

  • Theme is the lesson or a message of a story.

  • Conflict is the main problem that the characters are trying to solve in a story.

Retelling means talking or telling about something again. When retelling a story, we can use the BME retelling strategy to help us. First, we describe the beginning of a story and introduce characters and setting. Then, we describe the middle which usually includes a story’s main problem. Finally, we talk about the end of a story and describe how the problem was solved.

We can use the following phrases to retell a story using beginning, middle, and end:

Story Part Phrases
Beginning In the beginning, It all started when
Middle In the middle, After that
End In the end, Finally

Now you can identify the story elements, define retelling and use the BME strategy to retell a story! For more practice, check out our video, exercises, and download a retelling a story worksheet!

Frequently Asked Questions about Retelling

What are the key elements of a story?
What is retelling?
What is BME?

Transcript Retelling: Beginning, Middle, and End

It's time for Ari and Zayd's weekly movie night! They have firecorn, razbits, and even chocohoppers... but there's one thing missing, the movie! Ari has the perfect movie, but can't seem to remember the story to tell Zayd about it. Let's help them learn about retelling, (beginning, middle, and end) to help them figure out if it's a good fit for movie night! What is retelling and why is it important? Have you ever tried to tell someone about an amazing show, but you just couldn’t remember all of the details? There’s a tool that you can use to help you remember, RETELLING! Re means AGAIN, and telling is when you TALK ABOUT something. If we put that together re (...) telling means to tell or talk about something AGAIN. When you retell a story, only tell the important parts. If we give every detail of what happened we might not remember it all, and it would be a long description. You might already know that a story has three parts, the beginning, the middle, and the end. Let's help Ari learn more about retelling using these three parts! The beginning is the FIRST part that happens in a story. You can use words like, 'in the beginning' or, 'it all started when...' to help retell the beginning. So, Ari can start by telling the first part that happened in their story. : "It all starts when a wonderful baby dragon was born!" The middle is what happens after the story has begun, if there is a problem, it will happen here. You can use words like, 'in the middle' or, 'after that' to help retell the middle. Now, Ari needs to tell Zayd the MIDDLE part of the story. : "After that, the baby dragon tried to blow fire, but he couldn't!" The END is the final part of the story, if there were any problems in the story they get solved here. You can use words like 'finally' or 'in the end' to describe what happens at the end of the story. If there was a problem in the story, it usually gets solved before the ending, so make sure to include that too! Finally, Ari needs to retell the END of the story to finish retelling! : "After practicing, the baby dragon was able to blow fire! In the end, the dragon helped everyone start fire with his breath!" Before we find out if our friends will watch this movie, let's remember. Today we learned about RETELLING using beginning, middle, and end. Remember, retelling is when you TELL about the most important parts again. When retelling a story, use the beginning, middle, and end to help you. Now, let's see about that movie! : "Well, what do you think?" : "WOW Ari! That is such an amazing story!" : "Nothing will ever top that! Hey, want to go for a ride? Let's fly!" : "Well that wasn't the actual movie, Zayd, but, oh forget it, let's go fly!"

2 comments
2 comments
  1. nice

    From Abu, 8 months ago
  2. cool

    From Michael, about 1 year ago

Retelling: Beginning, Middle, and End exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Retelling: Beginning, Middle, and End.
  • Retell a story.

    Hints

    At the beginning of a retell you'll find the words, it all started or in the beginning.

    In the middle of a retell you'll find the words, in the middle or after that.

    At the end of a retell you'll find the words, in the end or finally.

    Solution

    It all started when a girl adopted a new puppy from the animal shelter. She named the puppy, Ruff. Ruff was so happy to have a home.

    In the middle, Ruff ended up getting lost when the backyard gate was left open. The girl and her dad searched the neighborhood for him.

    Finally, the girl and her dad got a phone call from a neighbor who found Ruff. They picked him up from their neighbor's house. They were very happy to have found him.

  • Beginning, middle, and end of a story.

    Hints

    What is the first part of the story called when retelling?

    What is the last part of the story called when retelling?

    Which words tell you that it is the beginning part of retelling? First, after, or final?

    Is the problem in this example solved at the beginning, middle, or end of the story?

    It all started when June went for a walk. In the middle, she found her neighbor's dog by the park. Finally, June took the dog back to her home and the neighbors were very happy.

    Solution

    How to retell a story:

    • The beginning is the first part that happens in a story.
    • The middle is what happens after the story has begun.
    • The end is the final part of the story.
    • The problem is solved by the end of the story.
  • Retell the middle of story.

    Hints

    Which words help you know that it's the middle of the story?

    Here is an example of how to know it is the middle of the story.

    After that, the boy went swimming.

    Solution

    The words "After that" help you to know that this is the middle part of the story.

    After that, Dino got to class and didn't talk to anyone because he was feeling shy. At recess, a boy named Taro asked him what he liked to do for fun.

  • Retell a story.

    Hints

    Which words help you to know which sentence is the beginning, middle, or end?

    The words that help you know which sentence is the beginning, middle, or end are:

    • In the beginning or it all started when
    • In the middle, after that, or then
    • In the end or finally

    What happened after the boy's sandcastle got swept away?

    Solution

    In the beginning, the boy was building a sandcastle at the beach. His sister and mom were helping him to make the biggest sandcastle they had ever built before.

    After that, the boy's sandcastle got swept away by an ocean wave.

    Then, the boy was upset and started crying.

    In the end, the boy's mom and sister helped him to make an even bigger sandcastle.

  • Retell the end of a story.

    Hints

    Which words help you know that it's the end of the story?

    Here is an example of how to end a story:

    In the end the girl won the race.

    Solution

    The words "In the end" help you to know that this is the ending part of the story.

    In the end, Maria picked a handful of green leaves for Jerry for his lunch.

  • Pete gets lost.

    Hints

    Which words help you to know which sentence is the beginning, middle, or end?

    The words that help you know which sentence is the beginning, middle, or end are:

    • In the beginning or it all started when
    • In the middle, after that, or then
    • In the end or finally

    What happened after Pete got rained on?

    Solution

    It all started when a fairy named Pete was flying around looking for food when it started raining.

    His wings got wet and he couldn't fly anymore, so he rested on a leaf in the woods.

    After that, a deer named Alice found Pete, and offered to have him ride on her back to bring him home.

    In the end, Pete made a big salad full of leafy greens, carrots, and apples to thank Alice for her help.