A stack of colorful dice lay on a table. Using the "roll & retell" method is a fun way for your child to practice reading comprehension after reading a story.

Using the "Roll & Retell" Method for Reading Comprehension

Your 6-year-old is learning a lot about reading comprehension in school this year! After each story, their teacher is likely teaching them to describe the setting, identify the problem and solution, and make connections with their own lives. You can help your child solidify their reading comprehension skills with a simple game that they're sure to love! 

The "Roll & Retell" game only requires a single die and pen and paper. Before reading a story, write a list of 6 reading comprehension-related items. Make sure the items are numbered! Below are a few examples: 

  • What does the story remind you of?
  • Who are the main characters of the story?
  • What is the story mostly about?
  • What is the big problem?
  • How is the problem resolved?
  • Where does the story take place?
  • Describe the beginning, middle, and end
  • Tell your favorite part of the story

After reading your story, pull out your single die, take turns rolling it, and answer the related question. For example, if your child rolls and 4, see what question is listed as number 4 and have them answer it. Children love using manipulatives and will delight in the opportunity to roll the dice, count the dots, and match up the questions. 

Variations on "Roll & Retell" 

This simple method of reading comprehension can be adapted to exercise other aspects of storytelling. For example, consider a scavenger hunt style game that leans on observing illustrations or a version that has your child creating variations of the story.

An illustration based game could include items like:

  • Find an animal
  • Find an emotion in one of the illustrations and identify it
  • Find something red
  • Find the picture that illustrates the problem
  • Find the picture that illustrates the solution
  • Show your favorite picture in the book and tell why
  • Find something in nature

A "Roll & Retell" game that plays with imagining variations to the story could include items like: 

  • Add a new character to the story. How would the story be different?
  • Set the story into the future. What would be different?
  • Come up with an alternative ending to the story
  • How would the story look if it was set in the past?
  • Come up with a title to the sequel of this story
  • Pretend the characters run into another problem. What is the problem and how would they solve it?

Remember, making reading fun is an integral part of raising life-long readers. This easy game doesn't need to last all night to reap the rewards and, in fact, should be kept short and sweet so that your child looks forward to it as a little after-story treat, rather than required work. A few rolls after their bedtime story each night will be enough to keep the game fresh while still exercising important comprehension skills!

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