Topic | Oral narration rubrics

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  • KEroa

    How do you  “grade” your oral narration? Ive been seaeching Google for a long time but haven’t really found a definite answer on how to grade it the CM education way. We actually need in for as a requirement for our records. Is there a rubrics we can follow?


    I am looking for the same thing! Hoping this might bump up the thread!


    Using Language Well has a really great rubrics in the teachers guide if you use that resource. Also Your Questions Answered: Narration includes rubrics.  You could also make up your own.

    Tamara Bell

    We include a sample rubrics for written narrations in Your Questions Answered: Narration and incremental writing rubrics in each Using Language Well Teacher’s guide.  While these are for written narrations, you can use then to inspire you to create rubrics for oral narrations.  We do not have rubrics for oral narration because Charlotte did not grade narrations.

    It’s important to remember that each child is at his/her own unique level and you will need to adjust your grading for that purpose.  Is he/she giving his best?  Oral narrations (and later written narrations) are a skill that for many take time to develop.  What one child takes away from a single reading of a passage will be very different from another child.  If my child gives me a quality narration, that is their personal best, shows they understood and assimilated a reading, and has worked towards mastery of a grammatical point I made from a previous narration (perhaps he puts effort forth in not saying “…and then”) I would likely give an A if I needed to turn in grades.

    I’d like to share some of Charlotte’s writings as you develop a way to grade for reporting purposes:

    “Let the boy read and he knows, that is, if he must tell again what he has read.”

    “This, of telling again, sounds very simple but it is really a magical creative process by means of which the narrator sees what he has conceived, so definite and so impressive is the act of narrating that which has been read only once. (Vol. 6, p 261)

    “Perhaps the chief function of a teacher is to distinguish information from knowledge in the acquisitions of his pupils.  Because knowledge is power, the child who has got knowledge will certainly show power in dealing with it.  He will recast, condense, illustrate, or narrate with vividness and with freedom in the arrangement of his words.  The child who has got only information will write and speak in the stereotyped phrases of his text-book, or will mangle in his notes the words of his teacher.” (Vol. 3, p. 225)

    “They throw individuality into this telling back so that no two tell quite the same tale.” (Vol. 6, p. 292)

    “Indeed, it is most interesting to hear children of seven or eight go through a long story without missing a detail, putting every event in its right order.  These narrations are never a slavish reproduction of the original.  A child’s individuality plays about what he enjoys, and the story comes from his lips, not precisely as the author tells it, but with a certain spirit and coloring which express the narrator.  By the way, it is very important that children should be allowed to narrate in their own way, and should not be pulled up or helped with words and expressions from the text.” (Vol. 1, p. 289)

    “The first efforts may be stumbling but presently the children get into their ‘stride’ and ‘tell’ a passage at length with surprising fluency” (Vol. 6, p. 172)

    “It rarely happens that all the children in a class are not able to answer all the questions set in such subjects as history, literature, citizenship, geography, science.  But here differences manifest themselves; some children do better in history, some in science, some in arithmetic, others in literature; some, again, write copious answers and a few write sparsely; but practically all know the answers to the set questions.” (Vol. 6, p. 241)

    We (SCM) have an article about raising the bar of narration.  If you haven’t read it yet, it can help you continually adjust what you require from your children concerning narration.

    I hope the above quotes help you as you determine how you will determine grades that are required to turn in.


    This is a PDF I saved a couple years ago called “HEO Narration Evaluation Rubric”.  I can’t find a link to the original source so I’ll copy and paste it here.  Sorry, I don’t have time to go through and fix all the space deletions.  If anyone wants me to email them the PDF, just let me know.


    Includes all the events and ideas –at least as many as teacher hasidentified on assignment sheet.* Includes supporting details/evidenceprovided by author. Includes factual details such asnames, dates and locations. Defines terms used by author. Includes connections to otherreadings or outside research ontopics not fully discussed in thereading (without excessivelydigressing). Includes discussion aboutsignificance and whether or not youagree with the author: Why is thisimportant? Includes your own questions.Nothing is ever spelled outcompletely.

    Includes story elements such as: Plot advancement – descriptionof all events in the story. Setting, with at least somedescription. Character development,including any new charactersintroduced. How do thecharacter’s actions give youmore information about thecharacter? Any emerging themes. Your questions, reactions andpredictions. Paint a picture for me of thestory in your own words.

    You are: Able to describe all aspectsof object or process usingchart, diagram or sampleproblem and newterminology. Able to see how the partsrelate to the whole. Use and define all newvocabulary and terms. If applicable, complete all ornearly all of exercises orchapter questions correctly.


    History: Includes a summary of the mainideas (with some supportingevidence/examples) and events. Includes most names/dates in theirproper places. Includes your own questions andconnections to other reading.

    Plot advancement, most eventscovered. Basic understanding ofcharacters and theirpersonalities. Emerging themes Setting without description. Your reactions.

    Able to describe object orprocess, using most of thenew terminology Can define most of the newvocabulary. Can answer most of theexercises correctly. Ask for help with trickyconcepts.

    Fail – Good Effort:

    You can say who or what thepassage was about – you got the gistof it. If I gave you a name, youmight be able to say what I’mtalking about.

    Plot advancement, but with biggaps Know who the characters are,but nothing more

    Need help with exampleproblem Know what theobject/process is, but cannotdescribe in detail. Problems attempted, but halfor less correct.

    Fail – Poor Effort:

    None of the above.

    None of the above.

    Science: Few, if any problemsattempted No attempt to explainprocess or ask questions.

    Pass with Distinction: Excellent! You could teach a class on this topic! You can easily apply this concept.
    Pass: Yes, you understand and can intelligently discuss this topic. You can probably apply this concept independently or with a littlehelp. I bet you would get more out of another reading or some extra research.
    Fail, Good effort: Let’s see how we can help you understand this better with your next assignment, either with a second reading, moreshorter readings, or reading it together.
    Fail, Poor effort: I think you should re-do this.


    I’d love the PDF…thanks for offering!  My email is:

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