Narration Ideas

A key component of Charlotte Mason’s method is narration. In simple terms, narration is telling back in your own words what you just read or heard. It’s a wonderful evaluation tool that requires much thinking and assimilating on the student’s part. Narration can be done in many ways; here is a list of suggestions. You may also want to download the Narration Bookmark to help with this important part of learning.


  1. Compose and record a radio show that dramatizes the events read about.
  2. Compare and contrast a practice in the account you read with a similar practice in modern society (for example, the feudal system vs. free enterprise; or infanticide in Rome vs. abortion today).
  3. Compare and contrast two or three rulers read about who lived during the same time period or in the same country. Which one would you rather live under and why?
  4. Play the part of the person you read about as he or she is being interviewed.
  5. Explain what this story tells you about the character of the person you read about.
  6. Name three things the person you read about is remembered for.
  7. Tell all you know about . . . (for example, the habits of a bluejay or the founding of Rome).
  8. Describe our . . . (for example, trip to the ocean or lighthouse experience).
  9. Tell five things you learned from what you read.
  10. Tell back the story in your own words.
  11. Ask five questions covering the material you read.
  12. (For Picture Study) Describe the picture you just saw.
  13. (For Picture Study) Which picture did you like best of all you studied? Describe it.
  14. Describe your favorite scene in the story you read.
  15. Tell what happened into an audio recorder.
  16. Tell how the scene reminds you of another story.
  17. Say three questions you would ask if you were writing a test about what you just read.
  18. Tell me anything new you learned from the passage.
  19. Tell what may happen next and why.
  20. Describe the problem and how it was solved or how it could be solved.
  21. Tell what you think this means: “. . .”
  22. Tell how you might have done things differently as a character.
  23. Compare how people did things back in those days to how we do them today.
  24. Describe any clues left by the author in previous readings pointing to the plot twist.
  25. Describe a character’s worldview. Compare it to a Christian worldview.
  26. Compare kindred spirits from this book with those who might be good friends from another book.
  27. Compare yourself to a kindred spirit of yours from this book.
  28. Tell what you have learned about history, geography, or science from this book.
  29. Describe any golden deeds from this book.


Any of the Speaking ideas listed above, done in written form, plus . . .

  1. Write and perform a play that depicts the event read about.
  2. Create a newspaper article about the event or person read. Put the article in a time-appropriate newspaper that you create; just the front page will do. Include ads, weather, and any other elements that would give the feel of the time period.
  3. Write an obituary for a person you read about.
  4. Write an interview with a person you read about.
  5. Write journal or diary entries from the person’s point of view whom you read about.
  6. Write a letter to a younger sibling, explaining what you learned.
  7. Write a poem that retells the story you read about.
  8. Write five interview questions you’d like to ask the person you read about.
  9. Write five questions covering the material you read.
  10. Write five sentences about the passage.
  11. Write a letter (or e-mail) to someone about the passage.
  12. Write a letter from one character to another.
  13. Write a one-act play of a scene.
  14. Write a letter from the author to the publisher about key scenes.
  15. Write an imaginary conversation between two characters from two different books.
  16. Write a review of the book for


  1. Draw a diagram of a machine or series of events you read about and explain it.
  2. Draw a picture of the event or one particular scene in the event you read about.
  3. Draw a map of the place you just read about.
  4. (For Music Study) Draw a picture of what you hear in this composer’s music.
  5. (For Picture Study) Draw the basic components of this artist’s work, putting each in its proper place.
  6. Describe and/or draw a theme park based upon this book (adventure stories).


  1. Write and perform a play that depicts the event read about.
  2. Dramatize and video record a news broadcast that summarizes the events read about.
  3. Spend 10 minutes planning a short skit based on what you read.
  4. Describe how you would adapt the scene to a movie.
  5. Describe special features for a DVD made from this book.


  1. Make a model of a machine you read about and explain how it works (for example, the Trojan horse or Archimedes’ stone-throwing machine).
  2. Set up the scene you just read about with blocks, toys, Legos, etc.
  3. Model something from the scene with clay.