Today I was struck by my son’s narration of a Marie Curie biography. It didn’t seem to be “right” or maybe it didn’t seem to be really “complete” to my schoolish mind. Was it? Was it enough that the points he told were what he’d found the most interesting and importnat in his reading? It was not everything in the chapter. It was not all the details. It was told with enthusiasm and interest and using strong vocabulary. It was not told “in order” as he would have read it. What matters most?
This is my narration hang up! I need a bookmark to keep with me titled: WHAT A CM NARRATION LOOKS LIKE.JenniferMParticipant
I think it looks different from one child to the next!
Here are my thoughts… would someone who had not read the chapter be able to understand what it was about based on his narration?
My 8 year old daughter gives very detailed, interesting narrations with lots of descriptions and dialogue if appropriate – Usually. One day she gave me a brief summary. I simply told her that I had not read that chapter and to please tell me more so that I would know what it was about. She did.
My 6 year old son also gives excellent narrations (unless he is not listening), but his retellings are more to the point and orderly. He uses mostly the vocabulary from the reading, but sometimes substitutes his own which shows me how he pictures it. He is more mechanically minded – taking things apart, building them back differently, digging, gardening, etc. He likes books with diagrams and maps and cutaways to see what it’s like inside. Daughter is very artsy, dramatic, and loves a good story. I think their narrations show their different personalities. Just sharing all that so that you can see that there is variety!JenniferMParticipant
One more thought – It may not always be necessary that the narration clearly tells about the chapter. It may be that the narration describes the person whom the chapter was about. Does that make sense? Maybe that is what your son did?missceegeeParticipant
Claire, I have a few thoughts to share, but it may be tomorrow.ClaireParticipant
Thanks Jennifer. Great points. I would definately have learned from his narration today had I not read it myself. However, I would not have gotten all the nuiances of the writer. There were details he did not include although I felt like he told what he did with knowledge of them (if that makes sense?). I would have like him to have related these little asides, details …. and the descriptions of the feelings and mood and tone of the chapter more. But then that is because that is what would have struck me most. That would be what would have made the “facts” – which he told – stick for me.
Still it would be so great to have rubric of sorts to say “hey, this is solid CM narrating; they are making connections and hanging the hooks” …. I feel like as they grow I have so much more to listen to and read that I need this crutch! Of course it would have to be generalized to be useful across all subjects/lessons.
His American History narration was spot on, told in his own words but without missing a beat. He added his own wonderings and thoughts on what he’d heard read there too.
I wonder if the difference is in the way he reads versus how I read to him aloud? Hmm. Food for thought.
Christie! I know you’re up … can’t wait to hear your thoughts too.
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