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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 cannot understand your perspective or thoughts if you cannot express them in a way that can be understood.)

In the complete cycle, narrating after a reading allows a student's mind to develop and grow by training it to listen and concentrate and then use the information that has just been received, turn it around (a whole different skill) and express this information in an orderly fashion with his/her own ideas attached, making it possible for others to understand.

Below are some narration suggestions from several different books to show how narrations vary. This variety will appeal to different ages and different learning styles. These examples also illustrate how narrations build skills in writing, expression and communication.

From The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge:

‘I’ll always be safe when I’m wearing this habit,’ she thought. ‘People are always safe in their mother’s arms.’

What does Maria mean when she thinks this to herself?

Draw a map, using the description in the book, of Maria’s view from the south window.

‘A Princess called to rule a kingdom must know it through and through, if she is to reign worthy. And how can she know it, if she is not given the freedom of it?’

What does Sir Benjamin mean when he says this to Maria?

Make a list of at least five things you would consider important for a prince or princess to know about their kingdom in order to reign worthy.

Draw a map of the relationships between the stable, house, stable-yard, harness rooms, tunnel and coach-houses. Draw the correct location of the kitchen garden. Use the description from the book as your guide. Label each of the above buildings and the garden.

Define the literary term simile.

Find the simile in the following selection:

And looking up at those white wings, gleaming like pure snow in the clear silver light of the West Country, Maria thought that, no, she had never seen anything more lovely; unless it had been those seagulls flying inland in the early morning.

From Renaissance and Reformation Times by Dorothy Mills:

Describe the school of the sixteenth century.

Describe the education of women during the Renaissance.

How did the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453 affect Venice?

Describe the life and art of Giovanni Bellini and his brother Gentile.

In what way did the popes of Rome fail their city?

From Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling:

Choose some of the following animals and draw a picture of what you imagine the scene looked like when they came to visit Paddle:

  • Mouse

  • White Owl

  • Rabbit

  • Wolves

  • Wolverine

  • Weasel

Be sure to label your picture with the names of the animals you chose next to them.

Choose one of the above animals and research it. Write a paragraph describing your animal, its diet and its habitat and anything else you found very interesting. Be sure to add an illustration to your paragraph.

From Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall:

Should Queen Elizabeth have given her younger son, Richard, to the bishop?

Tell all that you can about the Duke of Gloucester.

Write an imaginary dialogue, as you think it might have been exchanged, between the wizard who prophesied and King Edward.

Divide a sheet of copy paper in half. On one side draw Henry VI riding through town as a prisoner with the people laughing and mocking him and the other side with Henry as King with the people cheering him.


Please be kind. These suggestions are my own creations and as such are protected under copyright laws.

Thank You!

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