Hansel and Gretel Retell Literacy Center Activity

Create your own Hansel and Gretel retelling activity with this free download for kindergarten.

This is how I created a Hansel and Gretel retell activity to go in our retell center as a storytelling option for my kindergarten students.

Let me show you what’s in our set and give you the materials to make it happen in your classroom too.

It’s one of my favorite literacy centers and we usually introduce Hansel and Gretel at the end of the school year.

The main reasons being that it’s longer, there aren’t any specific patterns to pick up on and usually, my students infer that the witch and stepmother are the same person (in the James Marshall version).

We wait until the end of the year to have these deeper discussions on what is inferred as opposed to what we can figure out with evidence from the story.

But when they retell this story in our retell center they read they act, they use lots of great vocabulary and are developing fantastic reading habits all while continuing to build their love of reading.

What’s in my set

Here are the props I gathered rather inexpensively (and you can too) to bring the book alive once we knew it by heart.

I love the James Marshall version of Hansel and Gretel. So, I created some large hand-drawn characters using colored pencils.

Then laminated and hole punched each character’s face at the top added strings to be character necklaces.

I also gathered a few rocks from our playground.

How to make your own Hansel and Gretel retell activity

If you plan to make this a year-long literacy center, I highly recommend that you read the Retell Literacy Center Directions for more details and making everything run smooth.

Because you can make this kindergarten activity yourself and once you and your students are hooked on retelling you’ll want to make this a year-long thing.

Here are the materials you’ll need… (may include affiliate book links to Amazon)


But here are a few more options you may want to add to your retell set:

What to do

Take your book copy and character props and place them together. A container like an open basket, a book bin or a large Ziploc bag will work!

You could easily make masks or add popsicle sticks to the back of characters to make them feel like puppets. Or you could free-hand, like I did, to draw your own characters.

We liked to keep a blanket nearby these materials so that they could create a theater-like puppet stage to sit behind.

But all they need to do is have the book and the materials and use the props to tell as much as they can:

  • about the story
  • from the story
  • with the story (following along)

Encourage kinders to use as many words from the text as they can remember. With a patterned story like this one, it’s pretty easy, especially if you read this story multiple times before you release it to your students.

There you have it – how to make a Hansel and Gretel retell activity for your class. I love that it doesn’t require much to get it done. {wink}

If you like this activity, check out this list of 20 more famous stories that are great for retelling in kindergarten. Most of them are just as simple to pull together and I’ve found all of the downloadable resources for you.

Other books that are great for retelling in kindergarten

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