How many narrations per day?


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  • JSchaaf

    My daughters are 8,7, and 5, so we are still doing oral narrations, not written. How many times a day should they narrate to me? I usually read aloud portions of 4-5 books that would be suitable to narrate.




    I wouldn’t pressure the 5yo to do any; if she wants to share something, by all means let her. She’ll get tons of “training by example” just by listening to her big sisters! (Funny story–my youngest son came in to the room where I was once when he was about two. He had a stack of papers with scribbles on them in his hand. He made me sit down, and announced, “I just wroted a book and now I’m going to narrate it to you.” Which he then proceeded to do in detail. LOL)

    Now. I actually expect a narration of some sort over each reading which would be suitable. This sounds terrible on the face of it, but it really isn’t because we keep it flexible. I usually choose one reading a day and turn to one child and just say, “Narrate” That is our code word for “The whole enchilada” 🙂 I try to get one good, full, as-much-as-you-remember narration a day from each child. When I had several listening to the same book, I’d choose one reading and ask one child to narrate, then just ask the others if they had anything to add. Next time I’d ask a different child for the narration.

    But, especially now that I have older children reading many things on their own, I still need to know what they are getting from each book. But just saying “Narrate” five times a day per child can get tedious for the child and time-pressing for mom! So we have more informal narration questions I’ll ask—“What’s the most interesting thing that happened in today’s reading? What did you learn that was new? What was your favorite/least favorite thing Character X did? Did you think Personage B was right or wrong to do that? Tell me what happened in today’s reading in three sentences or less.” Those are just some examples, and some of them would be pretty deep for an 8 or 7yo. You might have a child draw a picture for an alternate narration. Or assign a child to tell Daddy about today’s chapter at dinner tonight. The basic point being, that I want to develop both a child’s full narration skills, AND also help them process everything else they read, without exhausting all of us by 11am. 🙂

    See here for more ideas to help keep narrations fresh, the morning moving, and everyone happy:


    Michelle D

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