Narration is a technique that helps students assimilate knowledge. After a single reading (for younger students, an adult does the reading) the student is asked to tell back what they just heard. This process, called narration, helps a student relate back a literary passage of a book in their own words and increases the mind’s ability to remember. We will use this technique (which we practiced in class today), along with others, during the course of our classes this year.
Each narration may come with a slightly different twist or point of view, usually reflecting how an individual interacted with the material. The goal is not for a student to “parrot back” everything they heard. The simple question at the dinner table “What did you read about in The Story of the World (our history book)?” is fine. One of the things that I really enjoyed when my boys were young was finding out how my sons’ minds worked. I gained a deeper sense of what they are interested in (which has resulted in long narrations) and what is of little interest to them (e.g. “Mom, I can’t think of anything.”). I hope you will enjoy the opportunity to sit down with your child for a few minutes and see how they are responding to and thinking about the material.
If there is misinformation (e.g. wrong dates) in your child’s narration, this can be pointed out later if the parent feels it is necessary. When I corrected my child during the narration process, I found that I shut-down my child’s communication.
This skill comes more naturally for some students than others. If your student has a difficult time narrating, you may prompt them to think about the “who, what, when, where, why” questions before reading the material. It is okay if your student is only able to say a sentence or two about what s/he has heard or read. We will practice narrations throughout the year.
Please let me know if you have any questions.