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Examples of your kids' narrations?

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Ok, here are a couple from about a year ago, when dd was newly 9/4th grade, so older than your dd . . . this is from SOTW 2 Ch. 38, about Queen Elizabeth. This just happened to be one I have on this computer, from closest to your dd's age, FWIW. The second one is from about a month later, beginning of SOTW Ch. 3


Good Queen Bess

Queen Elizabeth was King Henry’s youngest daughter. She became queen after her brother and sister died. She was a great ruler unlike her sister Mary, who was a terrible ruler. Mary burned people, earning the name Bloody Mary. When she died the people accepted Elizabeth with joy. She loved art, poetry, and theater. She was a wise, fair ruler. She never married, for she knew her power would have been taken by her husband. When she died a natural death, her nephew was named as heir to the throne.


The Spanish Armada

King Phillip of Spain wanted the English to stop raiding Spanish ships and sailing in Spanish waters. He demanded Queen Elizabeth stop the English pirates from raiding and Elizabeth agreed. Secretly she allowed her people to continue to raid. King Phillip then declared a sea war and attacked. Though the English were outnumbered they fought bravely and won.

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You can find many past ones on my blog!



My kids are 5 and 7 now, but these go back a couple of years, as well, so you can maybe see some kind of progress. ;-)

Topics range from Bible portion-of-the-week to picture study, history, science and a few more...


Wanted to add: different is okay, BUT at 8 you should try to get her to sum up the main idea of the passage you've just read. If her answer contains what you think is the main idea, even if she uses different words, I think that's okay. If it seems like she's focusing too much on one particular aspect rather than the big picture, you may want to steer her narrations.


Sometimes, to help my dd, I have her tell me 4 sentences, using the mnemonic: first, next, then, end:

1. What happened FIRST? (ie the Chinese had 6 different states)

2. What happened next? (ie one leader united them)

3. Then what happened? (ie he was nervous about the Mongolians, so he built a wall)

4. How did it end? (ie nobody liked him because he was a mean leader and burnt all the books)


I do STILL find I often have to pull the sequence out of her - at this age, they're not always thinking sequentially in the way we want them to. She might be more focused on some other aspect of the story, like the fact that the robes were purple, or something I might see as trivial. :-/

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Thank you both! Great narrations! I would love to see more examples if anyone else wants to chime in.


It seems neither of you really stick to the three sentence limit then? This is really where DD struggles, and I go back and forth on whether or not to enforce it (outside of WWE).



Hmm, good point. For history narrations, I don't actually enforce a 3-5 sentence limit, I just look to make sure she is picking out main points, not trying to retell everything in the section or including a lot of "extra" detail. In fact, at this point I am asking for longer summaries.


For WWE & WWS, I did/do make her stick to the assigned number of sentences, because it was a writing exercise and I figured it was important, in that case.


Ok, here is an example from WWE 3 Week 12 (early 4th grade, just turned 9).:


Ali Baba, a poor man, saw robbers opening a massive cave filled with treasure by saying, "Open Sesame." He took some treasure home and borrowed his brother Kasim's corn measure to weigh it. When Kasim's wife got the measure back, she saw a gold coin stuck to the bottom of the measure, for she had smeared tar on it.

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My daughter is about halfway through WWE 2. Her narrations are nearly always identical to SWB's variations. It's uncanny. LOL. I have wondered if my daughter has memorized the teacher's notes at some point. ;)


Along with WWE 1 for 1st grade, we played this game a lot. We still play it, and all the girls enjoy telling their own stories with the sequenced cards. I do think that this game has helped all three girls to determine the sequence of events, organize the cards, and then use the cards to tell back the story in sequence.

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Okay, I found some samples, all from WWE 2 (this year), not quite 8 years old:


Week 9, Day One


Student's Narration:


Pippi was making cookies when her friends Tommy and Annika came over to visit. They watched Pippi make the cookies, and then Pippi said that she was going to be a Thing-Finder.


SWB's Narration (one variation):


Pippi was making cookies when Tommy and Annika came to her house. They watched her finish making cookies, and then Pippi decided to be a Thing-Finder.


Week 10, Day Four


Student's Narration:


Nurse Matilda had a nose that looked like two potatoes and a huge tooth that hung out of her mouth. Mrs. Brown tried to send her away.


SWB's Narration (one variation):


Nurse Matilda was so ugly that Mrs. Brown tried to send her away. She had a nose like two potatoes and a huge front tooth.


Week 11, Day Four


Student's Narration:


The puppies were playing when Cruella de Vil came by. She tried to kidnap Lucky, but he escaped by nipping her ear. Her ear tasted like pepper!


SWB's Narration (one variation):


Cruella de Vil tried to steal Lucky, but he bit her ear and got away. her ear tasted like pepper.


Weird, isn't it? It's like she's connected to SWB's brain in a strange, second grade sort of way. ;)

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From my 8 y/o:


The cat and the owl sailed away in a pea green boat. They decided to get married, but they needed a ring. So they got a ring from a pig and got married by a turkey.


Jerry wanted a dog, but he didn't want his cat to be jealous. He wanted to teach the dog tricks.


Pippi was making cookies on the floor while the monkey climbed onto her dough. Tommy and Annika watched her make the cookies, and Pippi said she wanted to be a Thing-Finder.


Pippi, Annika, and Tommy are Thing-Finders. They find an old man lying on the ground asleep so they want to take him!

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Thank you for asking the question. I was just wondering about this, because I've begun narrations with my almost-6 year old in SOTW1, (am contemplating beginning WWE1), and it is difficult for him to restrict it to the main points, or even to start at the beginning and end at the end. I wondered if this was something that happens more at the logic stage, or if I should be working on getting him to get the main points at this stage. I thought I heard that for CM narrations the goal is to remember a lot of the story and details, but for WTM narrations you want to get the main points--but at what age?

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I wondered if this was something that happens more at the logic stage, or if I should be working on getting him to get the main points at this stage. I thought I heard that for CM narrations the goal is to remember a lot of the story and details, but for WTM narrations you want to get the main points--but at what age?



I think that is totally normal for a 5 or 6 year old. I am far less concerned about my DS6 going too long or adding extra details. I have read a lot about CMs method, and you're right, it is very different than SWBs. DD8 writes very well in her free writing, but for some reason the sentence limit really gives her anxiety.


Great question. My son's narrations for WW4 are definitely too long. He wants to put down everything. I got him to cut it down to 4 sentences today. Worked :D.



I'm glad we're not the only one :-). Are you just going to keep plugging away at it?

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Hi Mofbethany,


I hope it's alright that I include the scans of my son's work. All these are from WW4 (we're only in the 3rd week). The one from last week is his usual, super long style. Its not the longest - the first one of Little Golden Hood (came in 2 parts) even had snippets of dialog :svengo: . This one (in the file called "this week") is the shortened version. I started off by asking him to narrate verbally (usually, I leave him to write on paper). As he started his blow-by-blow account, I asked him to think of the gist of the passage and what he thought the writer was trying to convey. It took him a few tries, but when he got it down to what I thought was short enough, I told him that was good to go. The total effort took shorter than the usual because writing takes him a lot of time. This is only our first try and it was smooth. But doubtlessly, there will be more difficult passages. I'm expecting that he'd need this hand holding for a few more weeks. Could this work for your daughter too?


BTW, DS turned 10 today :party: , so he's older than your daughter. He is somewhat language delayed in the sense that he never wrote much because of his dysgraphia. He reads well, so I chose WWE4 to start with. This is the first year of any language curriculum (he started off with IEW, so he had practice for a few months before this).


Oops. I can only upload one file at a time. I will upload "this week" in the next post.

wwe lastweek.pdf

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I couldn't upload the file. But this is what ds wrote this week, with guidance from me:


"When the wolf tried to catch Little Golden Hood, he caught only her hood. Her enchanted hood burned his tongue just as her grandma came home. Her grandma put the wolf in the sack and drowned him in the river. Little Golden Hood's mother scolded her for talking to strangers, but she promised never to do so again."


Thinking through, his long and wordy narrative wasn't so bad. But summarizing is a handy skill to have.

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Thanks for the advice! This is DD's first year using any sort of writing program as well, and all my free writing prompts were creative and very un-classical :-). Perhaps she and your son just need more time to grow accustumed to WWE.

I'm glad that other thread is going about the results of WWE long-term, though, because I've been second guessing the value of it. I think we'll stick it out a while longer and then decide. But if DD continues to panic about the sentence limit, I may just let her go as long as she needs to and (hopefully) enjoy it more. As another poster mentioned, summarizing may come a lot easier in the logic stage.

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