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Readers build comprehension skills here by retelling the beginning, middle and end of “Caps For Sale”


Language Arts  


1, 2  

Title – Retelling: Beginning, Middle, End
By – Eileen Finn
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 1-2




      Students will build comprehension by retelling

Caps For Sale

    by Esphyr Slobodkina. They will retell the beginning, middle and end.

New York State ELA Standard 2:

    Students will read, write, listen, and speak for literacy response and expression.


  • Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Writing paper
  • Pencils and crayons


    Prior to beginning this lesson, review the rules for sitting on the floor and listening to a read-aloud.


      Begin the lesson by explaining to the students that good readers are able to show their understanding of a book by retelling it. Ask the students the following questions:
        How many of you come to school on Mondays and tell your friends what you did over the weekend? (

Making a personal connection

        Do you tell them what you did on Sunday before you tell them what you did on Saturday? (


        “That is retelling. Today we are going to do the same thing, but with our books. When we retell, we use our own words to say what the book is about. We can use words such as: first, then, next, last or finally.”


      Then show the students the chart that you have made listing the components of a retell. (

See below

      Discuss the following:

        Beginning – What happens first in the story?


        Middle – What happens in-between?


      End – What happens last in the story?


      “As I read this story, think about what is happening so you can retell it during writing.”
    After reading the story, show the students the writing paper they are going to be using. Demonstrate how they are to write the beginning, middle and end. Once they write their retell, they may illustrate it. Then have one student repeat the assignment to the class. In addition, also have the directions written out on chart paper.

Independent Work:

      Students will be sent back to their seats to work independently on their retells. During this time, walk around the room observing the students’ progress. If a student is having a difficult time remembering the story, use some of the prompts below to help them.

What was the man doing?

What did the man sell?

Did the peddler sell his caps in a store?

Were many people buying the peddler’s caps?

Why did the man go for a walk out of the town?


What happened when the peddler woke up?

What did the peddler see?

How did the peddler feel when his caps were missing?

Who took the peddler’s caps?

Where were the monkeys and what were they wearing?


Where did the peddler go in the end?

How did the peddler get his caps back?

What did the monkeys do in the end of the story?

What was the peddler saying when he went back to town?


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