Narration Question

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  • CrystalN

    I have a question about what is “allowed” to be asked by the teacher. My daughter is reading Little Women right now and I have not read it. I frequently ask her to give me an oral narration. I know asking questions to test recall is a no no, but what about questions on details I am truly interested in? For example today the girls went on a picnic. I was genuinely curious what they took on their picnic and how that might be different than what a family today might take. Is that o.k. to ask? I am trying to get better at using narration. We have always used it, but not as well as I would like.



    I personally think any kinds of questions are good. Anything interesting to talk about that leads to discussion about a book is great, in my opinion! But I don’t know the “official” CM stance on that either, so that’s just my opinion.


    I think the “rule” is not to interrupt or correct the oral narration. I usually save questions for  the end.

    Tamara Bell

    When asking narrations, it is perfectly okay and preferred that there are some directed questions; we call these “prompts.”  It encourages a child to mentally go through their databanks and think about a specific item from their reading and has them thinking more deeply about the reading.  I encourage you to take a look at our narration notecard sample downloads to see how we word prompts.

    Karen Smith

    “Tell me what you read” is not the only narration prompt. Basically, any open-ended question can be used.

    Here’s a short list of the types of narration questions/prompts Charlotte Mason used with her students.

    For grades 1-3:

    • Tell the story of . . .
    • What is a hero? What heroes have you heard of? Tell about one.
    • What have you noticed (yourself) about (an object of nature studied)?

    For grades 4-6:

    • How many kinds of bees are there in a hive? What work does each do? Tell how they build the comb.
    • (Quote from a book you read) Who said this? Tell the story.

    For grades 7-9:

    • Describe your favorite scene in (literature book read).
    • Explain (key phrase from historical event) and give an account of (related historical events read about).
    • Write an essay on (current event), showing what some of the difficulties have been and what has been achieved.

    For grades 10-12:

    • For what purpose were (historical group) instituted?
    • Trace the rise of (country) before (famous leader of that country).
    • What theories of government were held by (historical person read about)? Give some account of his great ministers.
    • Write a dialogue between (characters in a literature or history book read).
    • Write a ballad on (current event studied).
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