Kindergarten, COVID, and Cocktails

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Recalling Details & Order of Events

Posted by Josie on September 22, 2020 at 10:25 AM

Even if we accomplish nothing else during the day, I always make sure we read together and complete a reading journal.

For this first week, we will read one story cover to cover each day and then write one-two sentences summarizing the story.

Two of our favorites series are the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Williams and the “Little People, Big Dreams” series. The Elephant and Piggie books are great for practicing phonics and sight words, and the “Little People, Big Dreams” books are great for introducing historical figures and their stories along with an easy-to-identify moral.


After reading each story, I ask a series of questions:

  • Who is the main character?
  • Are there any other characters? Who are they and what is their role in the story?
  • When the story begins, what is the main character trying to do? (Provide additional leading questions as needed: Was the main character trying to solve a problem? What was the problem? Was the main character trying to complete a task? What was the task?)
  • What issues does the main character run into during the story?
  • Is there a point in the story when it seems like the main character’s problem is finally going to get fixed? What is that point?
  • How does the story end? In relation to what the main character was trying to do, was the main character successful? How so/why not?


The purpose here is to get them thinking about parts of a story. By discussing the answers to these questions, they practice recalling information and organizing information.

To add a visual aspect to this, you can create a sequencing activity by giving your child 5-10 pictures depicting events in the story and then asking them to line up the pictures in the correct order. Start with fewer pictures, and gradually make it more challenging by adding more pictures, requiring them to recall and organize even more detailed information.


For example, let’s say we read Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and then I make three cards for the sequencing activity. Using just three cards, my goal is to teach the three basic parts of any story: beginning, middle, and end:

  1. Goldilocks sneaks into the bears’ house.
  2. Goldilocks eats Baby Bear’s porridge.
  3. The bears come home and Goldilocks runs away.

After that, I add in additional cards:

  1. The bears decide to go for a walk while they wait for their breakfast to cool down.
  2. Goldilocks sneaks into the bears’ house.
  3. Goldilocks eats Baby Bear’s porridge.
  4. Goldilocks breaks Baby Bear’s chair.
  5. Goldilocks falls asleep in Baby Bear’s bed.
  6. The bears come home and Goldilocks runs away.

In the second example, I’ve provided more details. This gives them the opportunity to practice recalling the order of events. Which event happened first? Which event happened second? And so on. Depending on the story, you’re able to add as many or as few plot events as your child can confidently handle. My advice is to start simple and gradually add on as to not overwhelm your child, as well as to give them an opportunity to build confidence along the way.


Categories: September 2020