Sunday, September 02, 2007

Narration by Trial and Error

I am trying to incorporate more narration into our school day. We spent last year narrating from Aesop's Fables - one each week. That was a good beginning, but we really needed to expand on it.

This year, I have the children narrating the following:

history reading - daily
Bible reading - Mon - Thurs

Both of these subjects are books they read on their own.

I finally started our literature readings this week. I read aloud from a different book each day, then ask them to narrate.

Here's what I have found:

Robert - If he reads the book to himself, he can narrate beautifully. He uses words and phrasing from the reading and hits most of the important parts. I am very happy with how that is progressing.

On the other hand, read-aloud narrations are not going well at all. He cannot give me the simplest narration from an oral reading and I'm not quite sure how to handle this. I know it is part of his auditory processing difficulties, but I would still like him to do better at this. I plan on investigating further and finding things to help him.

Ruthie - She has a hard time with narrations all around. Reading to herself, read-alouds - all of it. I am currently having her read single pages and narrate after that. I am also trying to stop more frequently during read-aloud time and have her narrate. She is doing better, and I believe she will eventually conquer this difficulty, but it is slow going right now.

Today, though, she gave a wonderful narration (actually, 2 of them) from Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare reading. Let me show you what made the difference.

This is a chart showing the major characters of the story we were reading. I got this idea from Higher Up and Further In. With the help of the names written down (and my detailed drawings -ha!), Ruthie was able to tell the story back with no difficulty. She even used some of the phrasing from the story, which she never does. I was so very, very proud of her. And relieved. :)

I need to figure out exactly why this worked. Was it because the names were written down and she didn't have to remember them? Was it the combination of hearing the story and being able to look at the chart at the same time? I'm going to have to play around with it some and figure out how to apply it to our other narration subjects.

(P.S. Can you tell what Shakespeare story we read? Post the answer in the comments. I don't have a prize other than the personal satisfaction you will get from knowing the correct answer. :) )

1 comment:

Life With My 3 Boybarians said...

Ms. Rhonda, I think you have a visual learner! If so, this would account for her success with visual cues. Congrats on the break through! I love this idea, and I hope to try it here this week. :)