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What The Heck Is Narration? And Answers To 4 Other Common Narration Questions

September 26, 2018 3 min read

What the heck is narration?

And how do I get my kids to narrate?

Paige is back today to answer your most pressing narration questions!

Notebooking and narration are key to understanding when it comes to filling out your SCIDAT notebooks. And since we have addressed notebooking a few times, we thought we would have Paige come back to share a bit about narration.

Let's get going...

Answers To 5 Common Narration Questions

1. What is narration?

Narration is an oral retelling It provides the opportunity for you and your child to discuss what you just read to them.

Narration is not simply repeating word for word what was read. It's a retelling in the individual's own words or a sharing of their "take" on the subject matter that was read.

2. Why should I bother narrating?

You should bother with narrating because it gives your student the opportunity to share what they have learned. And it helps you to see what they have picked up from a passage.

Narrating, and the discussion time that goes with it, gives us a chance to work on our student's attention spans and helps us to guide them to make connections between what they have just learned from a passage and what they already know.

And it that wasn't enough, narrating also helps the student to prepare for writing down their thoughts.

5 Common Narration Questions

3. Who should narrate?

If your child is old enough to speak and sit as you read to them, they can narrate. But you should definitely begin working on narration at the same time you start notebooking.

4. How should narration be done?

It's really quite simple.

You begin by reading a passage to your students. When you are done, you ask one or more of the following questions:

  • What did you learn about (the main topic)?
  • Can you tell me two things you just learned from what I just read to you?
  • What happened in the story we just read?
  • What did you find interesting from what I just read to you?

That's it.

Now, normally you would also write down or have them write down their oral narration on a notebooking sheet or in a mini-book for a lapbook. But that's how simple the oral retelling part is.

For more tips on science discussion time, check out episode 53 of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show.

5. What should I expect?

Don't expect your student's answers to be complete and super-stellar at the beginning. In fact, you may be greeted with the lonely sound of crickets when you ask your students to narrate for the first few times. Often times, children are afraid that they will get the answer wrong or they won't say what you want to hear.

But keep encouraging them, that there is no wrong answer to "What did you find interesting about what we just read?" As they become more comfortable with the skill of narrating over the months and years, their answers will become a more detailed retelling of the passage.

Wrapping It Up

Narration seems like a simple act, but really it is a skill that takes time and lots of practice to get good at. So don't get discouraged when your kids don't narrate like a pro from the very beginning.

You can model a good oral retelling for them by sharing your own and keep giving them plenty of practice. It's worth the effort!


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