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Retelling “Caps for Sale”

teacher talking about caps

About this video

In this video, we see a group of children engaged in a group conversation about a story they had previously heard. This interaction occurs in a in a bilingual prekindergarten classroom, where teachers provide instruction in both Spanish and English. The teacher is sitting in a rocking chair in front of the children. Some are sitting on the floor directly in front of her, and the rest are in a semicircle around them (the camera doesn’t capture all of them). The teacher is talking about Caps for Sale, a book she recently read to them.

Children gain great comprehension and communication skills when they have the opportunity for rich discussion during read-aloud times. Stories read aloud also can provide opportunities for children to use their memory skills and retell stories with their peers and teachers. Read-aloud and retelling opportunities allow children to ask and answer questions about a story. They also provide chances to share their perceptions of the experiences of the characters in a story. Children also practice important social and emotional skills as they listen appropriately to their friends and take turns in conversation. Storytime conversations are a rich context for learning literacy skills and applying them during meaningful conversation with teachers and peers.

The transcript provides a translation of the discussion (in Spanish) between the teacher and the students.

Note: Having promised parents at the school that the children’s identities would remain anonymous, IEL has dubbed out any mentions of the children’s names in this video. In the transcript and the introduction to the video above, we have inserted pseudonyms for the children.


Note: The dialog in this video is primarily in Spanish. For an English translation, you can choose English under the closed caption feature in the video player (above) or click on Transcript (below).


Teacher: Do you remember? Last week when we went to the library, I read you the book about caps for sale, and the man had many, many hats on top of his head.

Miguel: And the monkeys (munos), um, um, put them on their heads.

A girl on the left side of the scene raises her hand for the teacher to allow her to speak, but the conversation continues more informally. The teacher repeats and corrects what Miguel says.

Teacher: The monkeys (monos) put them on. And they grabbed them…

Miguel: Uh huh, and they put (ponieron) them on their head.

Teacher: They put (pusieron) them on…

Nicky: And he had one.

Teacher: And he only had one left.

Miguel (standing): And then he got mad like this.

Miguel stomps his feet to demonstrate the character’s anger. The girl on the left side is still raising her hand.

Teacher: He got mad, right?

Miguel: And then the monkeys were crying.

The teacher suggests that this is not what happened.

Teacher: Ummm … I don’t remember.

The teacher and several children shake their fingers no. Miguel sits back down on the floor.

Teacher: And they were imitating him, right?

Carmen raises her hand to speak, but several other children are talking at the same time. Something is happening off-camera that attracts the attention of several children.

Carmen: (in English) Quiet! (in Spanish) And he said…

Carmen repeats the negative finger gesture.

Imelda: Teacher?

Teacher: Yes, Imelda.

Imelda: Um, um, um…

There is still something going on off-camera. Several children are talking and restless.

Miguel: Shhh, shhh, shhh.

Jacob: There it is!

Imelda: And also, and also when I…

Teacher: No. Stop, stop, stop! Your friends are not listening to you. You have to wait until your friends are listening.

Everyone waits a moment, and now there is silence.

Teacher: OK.

Imelda: Then, um, he fell asleep and, and, and he was thinking that his, all his caps weren’t there…

The off-camera action continues to attract the attention of several children.

Miguel: And it’s that they weren’t there.

Teacher: They weren’t there when he woke up. OK.

Benchmarks and How They Were Met

BenchmarksHow They Were Met
Language Arts
1.A.ECb: Respond appropriately to questions from others.
The children respond to the teacher’s prompt asking them if they remember the story by sharing details relevant to the story.
Language Arts
1.A.ECc: Provide comments relevant to the context.
The children share details relevant to the story that they had heard during a previous read-aloud experience.
Language Arts
1.A.ECd: Identify emotions from facial expressions and body language.
During the conversation, Miguel describes how the man from the story was angry at the monkeys when a monkey stole the caps.
Language Arts
1.B.ECb: With teacher assistance, participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners (e.g., peers and adults in both small and large groups) about age-appropriate topics and texts.
This retelling of Caps for Sale provides an opportunity for the children to engage in a collaborative conversation about a book they had read together.
Language Arts
1.B.ECd: Engage in agreed‐upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening, making eye contact, taking turns speaking).
The teacher provides guidance to the children and to Imelda to wait to speak when her peers are not paying attention.
Language Arts
1.D.ECa: With teacher assistance, use complete sentences in speaking with peers and adults in individual and group situations.
Throughout the conversation, the children speak in complete sentences to share their ideas.
Language Arts
2.A.ECa: Engage in book-sharing experiences with purpose and understanding.
This retelling of Caps for Sale also represents a book-sharing experience because the children and their teacher are discussing a book they had read previously.
Language Arts
2.B.ECa: With teacher assistance, ask and answer questions about books read aloud.
Throughout the retelling, the teacher and the children take turns asking and answering questions about the story.
English Language Learner Home Language Development
28.A.ECa: May demonstrate progress and mastery of benchmarks through home language.
This conversation was carried out in Spanish, which is the home language of the children in the classroom. They are able to show their competence in retelling the story in Spanish.
English Language Learner Home Language Development
28.A.ECb: Use home language in family, community, and early childhood settings.
Read aloud in the home language is an important opportunity for children to practice their home language in the early childhood classroom.
English Language Learner Home Language Development
29.A.ECc: Exhibit foundational literacy skills in home language to foster transfer to English.
The retelling skills the children demonstrated during this activity, which was conducted in Spanish, will carry over to their ability to retell stories in English as they continue to gain English proficiency.
Social/emotional Development
30.A.ECa: Recognize and label basic emotions.
The children and their teacher discuss how the man in the story was angry and make accompanying facial expressions and gestures that demonstrate their understanding of this emotion.
Social/emotional Development
30.A.ECd: Begin to understand and follow rules.
The children quiet down after the teacher asks Imelda to wait to speak. Their quieting down represents their understanding of the rule during a group conversation that they should be quiet when another person is speaking.

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Child Care Center
  • Preschool Program
  • Kindergarten
  • Family Child Care

Intended audience(s):
  • Teachers / Service providers
  • Faculty / Trainer
  • Parents / Family

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2018