Topic | Question – Raising the Bar for Narration


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  • missceegee

    Raising the Bar for Narration – I have the narration book and have read Charlotte’s own words; I have compiled a list of narration ideas; We’ve been using narration since the beginning. But, still, the questions . . . I’m curious how others implement narration as the children get older.

    1. Do you give your student, specifically older middle school and high school students, a specific prompt for the day’s reading? or do you let them choose from a list of options on their own? or do you do a mix of the two?
    2. Narrative, Expository, Descriptive, and Persuasive – Do you vary the type of narration you ask for, but not give a specific prompt? or do you always give a specific prompt?
    3. Do you list out specific narration prompts in your plans per book or do you wing it? I am not good at winging things. If it isn’t planned, it doesn’t happen.

    I keep thinking it would be nice to compile narration prompts for chapters/sections of individual books and have a database somewhere to pull from. A girl can dream, right?



    Mmm, I hope someone more experienced chimes in.  While we both wait for that I can share what we are doing:

    Winging it.  Yep.  I didn’t think you would find that helpful.  And honestly a large portion of our narrations are still oral even with Makayla (9th grade, 14 year old).  She will do written narration when I ask and in history she tends to do more written narrations than in literature or science.

    Really, we do a mix of things.  I’m trying really hard to read the books before Makayla and be able to knowledgeably come up with those more than “tell me what is going on” narration questions.  We also are planning a socratic discussion for each of her assigned lit books (so not everything, just lit) and I’m using the series of questions in Teaching the Classics for that so I have a set of basic questions that then have subquestion possibilities for deeper discussion.  The other thing I’m doing is listening to her retelling of the story narrations and allowing those to prod me into coming up with a new question based on what she has found important. So when she mentioned today that she found Pickett to be a character that she didn’t like, even though he was one of the protagonists in The Green Ember and did make positive changes over the course of the book I asked her to tell me what first impressions can do, good or bad, in real life or in books.  How had she seen that play out in other places or in other books she had read?


    I love your plan. I just can’t do it. I need it written out or it doesn’t occur to my brain even for the books I’ve read. I like the TTC Socratic discussion. We will use that, too.



    We are newer to CM, and use a writing curriculum starting in junior high.

    However,  for history we are using A Living History of our World,  along with the companion journal which includes narration prompts and report topics for jh and hsers. There is a research aid form for jh and hs too.

    We used Diana Waring history previously,  which has many report topic ideas for various learning styles.

    So, history is where we do written narrations, but they are not all that advanced at our house.



    We also do essay tests periodically in some subjects.


    I have a couple resources set aside for high school…we may try the history notebook pages this year (DD is in 8th).

    History Scribe–There are essay questions on the high school level pages.  Currclick often has these notebook pages on sale for a dollar.  I haven’t studied the questions in depth, but they are pretty open ended.

    Socratic Discussion Guide–Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the discussion guide.  Some of the other links are helpful as well like the “Considered Language Arts” and “Editing and Proofreading Checklist”.

    Christie, I struggle with coming up with questions as well.  I would love a database (but don’t look to me for question ideas).  😉

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