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Narrations, both written and oral - how often for upper elementary?

Michelle T

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I have not done any sort of formal narration with DS, 11.5, either written or oral. But I am planning on starting both (mainly oral to begin) over the next several weeks.


I'm wondering how often you require either written or oral narrations from your upper elementary kids? Is daily too much? Or just right, if some days are oral, and some are written?


Would you do narrations on more than one subject in the same day?


Any other comments on scheduling narration would be appreciated, especially scheduling narration for a child who has not done it before.

Michelle T

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I usually try to have my boys write at least 2 or 3 compositions a week. They always have a writing assignment in Classical Writing each week. They sometimes have a notebook assignment in their Elementary Apologia book. If not, then it's usually a history narration or a book report. I don't have them write daily, but their history projects requires notes, 1st draft, and final draft which usually takes them the whole week.

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If you haven't done this before, you'll have to do it by trial and error.

But the more the better, I think.


Can he tell you what the chapter in the book he was reading about?


Can he tell you what the chapter was about that YOU just read?


Can he tell you what you just said?


Can he tell you what a movie is about (without going into every little detail?)


If he has trouble, start with Aesop's Fables. Read them aloud to him, then ask him to tell you the story in his own words.


Do everything orally until you have a good sense of his capabilities.


Then, start taking down the narrations yourself. Have him copy them out.


I would do this at least once a day.


Then, still take down his narrations, but first dictate the first sentence to him and then let him copy the rest.


Then dictate the next two sentences....and so on.


At some point you are supposed to have him start writing down the first sentence and then you write the rest, then two sentences and so on.


But I'm not entirely clear on how that works, now that I'm typing this out. Perhaps someone can enlighten me?:confused:


But, basically, as I understand it, when he reaches the point of telling you to be quiet and let him get on with it, then you are ready to have him write his own--on his own.


As your child is older than most, you may be able to compress this procedure, or jump into the middle of it somewhere.


Narration is a pre-writing skill. If he's already writing--and writing well, you may not need it at all!

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