I have a 5th grader this year and one of my goals is to transition into writen narrations, but I’m having trouble figuring out what this looks like and how to do it.
So, right now we do oral narrations for history reading (which we do as a family) and she also does oral narrations for her literature reading every day. Then once a week she reads an Aesop’s Fable and does a written narration. We go over it together and correct spelling and punctuation and then she rewrites it. So it ends up taking most of a week to write one narration. I think this is working out and is a good starting point, but I’m not sure how to progress or what my end of the year goal should look like. We tried written narrations for her literature reading (she is currently reading the princess and the goblin) but she found it too difficult, plus with correcting and rewriting there were lots of holes because it took her longer to get the narration done then it took to read book (does that even matter???)
Oh and she does write SOMETHING every day… either a first draft of the narration, final draft, copywork, letter to me or what ever.
Advice greatly appreciated!
You are doing fine. The Princess and the Goblin would be a tougher one to do written narrations on. (I have to confess my kids hated those books!) No, it makes no difference if it is still taking longer to do the narration than to do the reading. I wouldn’t increase what she is doing until it goes a little faster.
Are you correcting ALL the errors in every narration? If you do want to speed up the process a little, I’d perhaps work on this. Don’t do this to EVERY narration. Erase and correct misspelled words on every one (don’t want to see misspelled words.) Then choose an area or two to work on and fix, and do just that. Work on that area for a little while until she no longer does sentence fragments, for example. Then move on to doing something else. This makes it possible to correct a written narration quickly so that you can eventually do more than one per week. Also–does she type? Around this time we also transition to typing the narrations, either right away or handwrite it, then type it, as this makes correction nearly painless.
Does this help?
I would also mention that, rather than correcting spelling in every narration, I would make note of frequently misspelled words (or words you think ought to have been mastered by now) and try to use passages that contain one or more of those words for prepared dictation.
Mostly, we use narration as a way to gauge comprehension, in lieu of exams for history, literature, etc. So I second Bookworm’s notion of not correcting errors in every single narration.
Thanks for the advice ladies. By the end of the year would you have them doing a written narration every day? every reading? What does the end goal look like?
I’m not sure what your goal ought to be by the end of the year. That will depend on your child, I think. I was pretty happy with two a week for a long time, especially while we still did dictation frequently. I didn’t really require more than that written (they eventually preferred doing a written to running up to tell me an oral one all the time) until we started doing “essays”. Maybe he’ll be ready for that later, but do take into account the amount of copywork and dictation you are doing as well.
Fifth grade is still pretty young to be doing written narrations every time you read, just my 2 cents though. I guess it depends on the child and their strength and weaknesses. CM stressed the importance of children having time to reflect on their readings as well. I like to alternate oral and written, and have time in between for just letting it all “sink in”. I am sure older ages are more rigorous of course.
Sounds like you are doing well with working on one narration a week, especially if your child is being somewhat challenged in perfecting it. Aesop’s is a good starting place! I would think after doing that for a year, she would be ready for more next year. It takes time.
Thanks, I’m feeling much less intemidated by the written narration. We will stick with one a week for now (edit for spelling) and maybe reach for two a week by the end of may.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.