Summer Stars:

Sorting sentence strips in response to a story?

Approximate time:                          20 minutes

Age appropriateness:                      All ages

Materials required:                         Sentence strips (one set per pair)

Groups of children:                         Pairs

You explain that you have sentences from a story but they are in the wrong order. The children will need to work as detectives and try to sequence the sentences in the correct order.

Each pair is given a set of sentence strips which are mixed up from the story. They are given 10 minutes to read through them and attempt to arrange them in the correct order.

Once the sentence strips have been arranged in the correct order, the groups take turns reading out their stories. The children should listen and compare their own story to the one which is being read out at the time.

For younger children and children who have difficulty reading, use pictures to tell the story and ask them to place the pictures in the correct order.

For children who can read a little, make shorter sentence strips and read through them as a group first.

For older children, use more sentence strips/shorter strips.

Matching sentence strips to pictures

Approximate time:                          15 minutes

Age appropriateness:                      All ages

Materials required:                         Sentence strips, pictures from story, sellotape

Groups of children:                         Groups of three/four


Explain the activity to the children. Each group is going to be given pictures from the story and corresponding sentence strips. It will be the children’s job to match the sentence strips to the correct pictures. Model this for the children.

Distribute the materials and allow the children to start. Remind the children to stick the sentence strips onto the pictures using sellotape as they will later present these to the rest of the group. Circulate as the groups work and assist any group who are struggling.

Invite the groups to display their pictures and strips. The children will compare their work and hopefully agree on the correct answers.

Vary the amount of pictures and sentence strips given to the children along with the difficulty of the sentence strips.

Taking on different roles

Approximate time:                          15 minutes

Age appropriateness:                      All ages

Materials required:                         Books (one per group of 4)

Groups of children:                         Groups of 4


Explain that the children are going to be reading the story in groups of four and that they are each going to take on the role of a particular character. Encourage the children to read their character’s lines in their character’s voice.

Discuss what tells us how a character is speaking:
How does punctuation affect the character’s dialogue?
What would an exclamation mark mean?
Would you talk louder or softer?
What verb does the author use to describe the dialogue? Shouted, said, whispered etc. What does that tell us about how the character is speaking? Should we read quickly or slowly? Etc.

Model this for the children by demonstrating the activity with three children in front of the rest of the group.

The children decide who will play each character. They then read through the story as explained above.

Choose two or three groups to read the story for the rest of the group.

Reading in groups

Approximate time:      20 minutes

Age appropriateness:  All ages

Materials required:     Chapters from a particular book (a different chapter for each group)

Groups of children:    Groups of three or four


Explain to the children that each group is going to read one chapter of a particular story. They are then going to retell the story to the rest of the group.

Revise words for retelling stories – once upon a time, then, next, suddenly

Distribute the books or photocopied chapters and ask the children to read these in their groups. The groups then practice retelling the story among their own group.

When the children are ready, each group will get the chance to tell their part of the story to the rest of the group. After they have done this, they will be asked to decide the correct order of these chapters. The children will then tell the story again in the correct order.

For older groups, you could make the groups smaller so there will be more chapters of the book being used. This would make sequencing the chapters more challenging.