Lesson Plan

What Happened?

Help your students' story telling abilities grow with this lesson that helps them recount what happened in a story and has them point out key details.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Using the 5 W's pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Using the 5 W's pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to retell a story and demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
Star Graphic OrganizerFormative Assessment: Fictional Text Retell Checklist
  • Draw a star on the board. In each of the star's five corners, write the following words: who, what, where, when, why (5 W's).
  • Next to the star, write the 5 W's again so students can read them better.
  • Choral read the 5 W's aloud as a whole group.
  • Explain to the students that today they will be able to choose and read a choice story and use the 5 W's ask and answer questions about what is happening in the story.
  • Help students choose a book at their reading level.


  • Repeat explanation of the 5 W's in English and student's home language (L1).
  • Form questions using the 5 W's and have students answer them.


  • Ask students to explain how the 5 W's can help them understand what they read in their own words to a partner.