Retelling with Ozobots in 5 Easy Steps

It is my belief that coding is another form of literacy. As a librarian, I work to teach all forms literacy, so coding has become a part of my curriculum. I teach coding across content areas. This allows connections to what students are already learning. This year my goal has been to effectively merge coding skills with reading comprehension skills. One of the ways this has been done is using the Ozobots. Having students retell a story is an important part of our reading instruction. It is one of the many ways we check students’ understanding of the text. Below are two examples of lessons where students retold a story using Ozobots.

Example 1:

This was a very effective, but borrowed idea.  The project was inspired by the video shared by Education Technology Specialist (Edtechs).

  • Step 1: Students in second grade listened to four different holiday legends. In the video below, the retelling is of The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola.
  • Step 2: Working in small groups, they retold the story in four major events. They started by planning what four events they would share. Then they identified what pictures would represent each event. They drew these pictures on the large piece of butcher paper. Here is the planning page they used.
  • Step 3: They planned which Ozobot commands they would use to represent their events. We emphasized that the Ozobot should help students tell the story.
  • Step 4: Once the commands were chosen, they drew their track. We had student’s cut out the commands they wanted to use and tape them onto to their track. (Tip: Use mat finished tape, instead of shinny tape when adding these to the track.) This allowed for fewer errors and kept the focus on the objective. Click here and here to print the commands we used.
  • Step 5: Finally, students practiced their retelling and shared it in a video with parents using the Seesaw app. Click here to see one of the videos.

Example 2:

Again, most of my good ideas are not my own so this example was inspired by the video posted by Marisa Dahl.

  • Step 1: Kindergarten students read the story One Winter’s Day by Christina M. Butler.
  • Step 2: Using this graphic organizer and picture cards students sequenced the story after reading it. Students put the picture cards in order on their own first. Then we checked it together before gluing anything down.
  • Step 3: Students decided which commands would represent each part of the story. Then they created their code. I ended up providing them with a template as a sort of fill in the blank. They were having a difficult time making sure their colors were able to be read by the bot. By having the template, they found more success getting their code to work properly and were then able to retell the story. As this was our first attempt, the goal would eventually be to no longer use the template and have them draw their own path.
  • Step 4: They glued their template to their picture sequence.
  • Step 5: Then they retold the story to a friend.


Dahl, M. (2016, September 16). Ozobots Meet Story Retell [Video file]. Retrieved from

Education Technology Specialist (Edtechs). (2017, June 5). Ozobot Bit – Little Red Riding Hood Video [Video file]. Retrieved from

Hobart, S. (2017, December 21). Using Ozobot to Retell a Holiday Story [Video file]. Retrieved from


Author: Kelly Hincks

I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, Michigan Association of School Librarians (MASL).

Categories: Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models, Technology

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