"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Six Steps of Narration

In our Homeschooling we use a variety of techniques to help an idea or theme 'stick'. I've found this approach to be more reflective of what they have learned or how they have related to the information presented to them. Narration is an important tool in our home. It is in keeping with a Charlotte Mason approach to Homeschooling. If you are interested in reading more about this approach see this web site: http://simplycharlottemason.com/basics/about/ . We use notebooks, story boards, sketch books, book discussion, drama, lapbooks and the like to help the children interact more fully with the information being taught to them. I had gone to a Charlotte Mason Education Meeting and one of the ladies there was so kind to give us each a book mark with the six steps of narration on it. She didn't mind us sharing for others also to benefit from! The list below will refer to a living book text. This simply means a book or text that is not abridged and is being read in it's entirety without alteration.

1. Teacher introduces the new text (new names, places, unfamiliar vocabulary)
2. Student recreation of the old text (last reading); child sets stage from what is already known.
3. Reading of the living book text.
4. Narration of the living book text.
5. Grand Conversation (children share their reactions and ask questions. THEIR reaction and THEIR questions...not ours)
6. Closing (point out any major point missed or ask a question to give student(s) something to ponder)

In closing:
Narration can take the form of oral retelling, written retelling, drama, sculpture (with playdough or lego), drawing an episode, recreating a scene (with blocks or playmobil), map work, diagramming a process or idea. This is not an exhaustive list.

My children naturally do this now. My daughter will often come and talk to me about what she is reading or studying. What she likes and dislikes about the literature she read, how the story made her feel, what she thinks about the theme/ideas presented, what characters she connected with, what she found fascinating about the historical event etc. My son will often dramatize what he has taken from some literature read, either with toys or by sketching. I find that taking this type of an approach to learning helps a child to develop critical thinking skills; an essential life skill!

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