The Art of Narrating

"Narrating is an art, like poetry-making or painting, because it is there, in every child’s mind, waiting to be discovered, and is not the result of any process of disciplinary education. A creative fiat calls it forth. ‘Let him narrate’; and the child narrates, fluently, copiously, in ordered sequence, with fit and graphic details, with a just choice of words, without verbosity or tautology, so soon as he can speak with ease." -Vol. 1 Part IX.–The Art of Narrating, p.231 Why is narration so important? 1) It trains the mind to take something that was read or heard and mark it as important and to then file it away differently. 2) Attention and narration are tied together. Without the former,

Narrations Are Varied and Build Skills

Narrations are so often thought of as only a retelling of what has just been read. This post is to demonstrate just how very creative they can be. The main purposes for narration are: 1. To teach the student to concentrate when reading a book or when having a book read to him/her. They must pay attention in order to successfully give a narration following it. 2. To create a means where the student can express their own particular interpretation or what new experience the reading gave to him/her. (How did the events or people from this story connect with them?) 3. To teach students that communication with others must include the presentation of ideas and thoughts in an orderly manner. (We can

Classical Lessons for The Little White Horse

I read The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge with both of my daughters, but created this guide as I shared it with my younger daughter. Here is how we used this guide and some thoughts behind its design. A Typical Reading Session First, we attend to any of the pre-reading work, if there is any. I tend to keep this casual and we head to the couch together with the book in hand. I usually bring a dictionary, a vocabulary worksheet (if this is a day that I feel the need for this) and sometimes a globe/map if needed. We research or review anything that I think will be helpful for the reading to come. The majority of the time, especially with a literature book rather than a history book, the

Transitioning from Oral to Written Narrations

Moving a narrator from oral to written narrations should be a gentle crossover, with the skills and needs of the narrator always the priority. A narrator will never leave oral narration completely behind, but as they progress through the years should add to them and replace the number of them with other variations of narration. For example, while my high school student still orally narrates sometimes, more often she writes narrations, essays and other papers as well as participates in deep discussions with me about what she has read. Here are what I would consider some important points to consider: 1. Be sure that your oral narrator is fully ready to write. Your young student should be a

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