Retelling is an important skill. When I listen to children retelling a familiar story, they communicate to me what meaning they made of the original text, a sense of structure and an ability to use appropriate language.
Clearly, the best children's stories to use for straightforward retelling activities are those that are easily remembered. Billy's Bucket by Kes Gray and Garry Parsons is a great story for retelling as young readers really seem to connect with the experiences of the main character. (The story opens on Billy's birthday as his parents ask him what he'd like as a gift.)
Throughout this modern cautionary tale, Billy warns his parents that they must never ever borrow his birthday bucket! Mum and Dad mock the wonderful (imaginary?) world Billy has discovered in his bucket and they don't take his warnings seriously... until Dad needs Billy's bucket for washing his car!
To help support story sequencing for Billy's Bucket, we've created this crafty story prop. Just print out the pdf template onto white card, colour and cut. We used embroidery thread to string together the underwater finds (help is needed to tie a little knot behind each, alternatively supply some tape) then we fed the pictures through the space when rereading or retelling the story!
Also, there's a little tag, just like Billy's, to personalise the craft! As an extension, children might like to create their own drawings, or use pictures from the internet to replace/add to the sequencing chain. Oh, and there's a stand so your bucket will remain upright! Hope you've fun with this freebie!