Narration Ideas Booklet

A Charlotte Mason Education is largely centered on a learning method called narration, or the “telling back” in the child’s own words what they have just heard or read.  

I have created a Narrations Ideas Booklet filled with over 100 narration ideas to encourage dynamic and varied narrations.  This booklet offers a list of over 100 creative options, alternative suggestions, tips, outlines and templates for every age and learning style.  (Free sample at the end of this post for 5 lucky readers who comment!)

What is Narration?

When a parent reads a short story, or a passage or chapter the child listens attentively.  Then the child retells the story or passage in his own words.  This skill, although seemingly simple and fairly natural, requires concentrated focus and attention from the child, and requires a complex range of learning skills.  

To form a narration a child needs to consider what he has heard, thinking how it applies to other ideas he already knows.  He then puts his thoughts into order, recalls details, mixes it with his opinion, and then forms those thoughts into coherent sentences and tells them to someone else – when real learning takes place.  Charlotte Mason called this The Act of Knowing.

Narrations are therefore complex activities, but amazingly can be practiced by pre-schoolers all the way to high school students.

Here are examples of some of the templates and ideas you can find in the FULL Narrations Ideas Booklet available on my Packages Page ~

Free sample booklet of Narration Ideas  for 5 lucky readers who comment! Fill in your comment and I will email you your download if your name is drawn.

Pop over to my Packages Page to purchase the complete booklet.

Wishing you many creative and dynamic narrations with your children.

Blessings, Nadene
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48 thoughts on “Narration Ideas Booklet

  1. Written narration has helped my middle schooler grow in her writing capabilities. Your narration ideas have sparked ideas beyond the 1/2 sheet of paper writing narration:)!

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    • @Deborah, I’m delighted to offer some new narration ideas that may well expand well beyond a sheet of paper! And you are right — written narrations develop a child’s own creative writing abilities remarkably!

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  2. We are on the road to narration. Some days are amazing and some days are frustrating I guess continuing and pressing on is the secret. When we get it right and do it well it is so rewarding!

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    • @lindiebull, We also had our ups and downs. It helps when you have loads of different narration ideas so that each child finds what works for their narrations! Keep trying, keep pressing on, keep offering alternatives that engage your child’s passion and motivation.

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  3. Thank you, Nadene, for all your helpful posts! I agree wholeheartedly that narration is a powerfully engaging learning tool. I enjoy watching my children’s faces as their eyes light up…second by second…while they formulate and express their thoughts! It’a always a pleasant surprise to hear their honest expressions…their selection of phrases which are close to tangible indications of their understanding!

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    • @kathleenbee We definitely used more narration variations as the children become teens. High school children really enjoy choosing from different options. They also need to work through a range of written applications, such as formal letters, scripts, newspaper articles, interviews, etc. Once young children have mastered the art of attentive listening and detailed retelling, they can apply it to so many options.

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  4. Thank you for all the great resources you provide, your blog has transformed our Homeschool journey in many ways. I have learned so much from you. Hopefully we will also be able to get a better grip on narration with this booklet. Thank you.

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    • @Martie I am delighted that you have found encouragement and inspiration through Practical Pages. This Narration Ideas booklet will definitely open up a range of interesting, creative narration activities!

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  5. What a great Idea Nadene to have a varied collection of themes and ideas for the narration to draw from. I have been asking my kids to narrate stories to me, that I then write for them and then we all read together. They get their ideas from dreams they’ve had or from our explorations in the garden. Every time they get excited about something we capture words and ideas and turn it into stories and pictures so that we don’t lose the sparks of their imagination. We also have a question book where we write down questions they have and research them on the internet. This sometimes leads us to storytelling ideas as well. Thank you Nadene, I just love your Website!

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    • @Machele What a wonderful, rich, and creative environment you have created for your children! Wonderful! I hope that you find a whole range of options to inspire their creative writing and narrations in my new Narration Ideas booklet!

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    • @Shelley It is challenging to find that what works for one child just doesn’t seem to fit for another. I am convinced that we need to tailor-make our homeschooling, and this Narration Ideas booklet will provide options for your second child that will be perfect for his/her learning style and unique gift.

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  7. Hi Nadene: Thanks for all you write and post! I’m so grateful for the inspiration, and I need to take these ideas seriously to help our girls with their narrations. I just need to plan ahead I think!

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  8. I love your idea of the ‘Narration Ideas’. As a primary teacher I find that quite a lot of students I have worked with often have trouble putting their thoughts down on paper and ordering them after they have read an article. Something like this is a fantastic way to encourage them in their writing :).

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    • @Sheree You’re right! A new approach often gives the child confidence to try narrations without the fear that he has to “fill a page” with words. Children that are artistic or dramatic or creative benefit by working through their learning style. I know that this booklet will stimulate and encourage your children!

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  9. I wish notebooking was more of a success in our homeschool. They see it as boring, not sure how to fix that. Anyhow, these look great!

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  10. Oh this looks neat! Is it good for high schoolers too? I have so much trouble coming up with narration prompts for my boys and would love something that is “open and go” for narrations.

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    • @Melissa These alternative narration options are definitely appropriate for high schoolers, and for boys! High school children prefer to choose their own narrative applications. They should also practice different creative and formal writing techniques such as writing dialogues, scripts, formal letters, newspaper articles, etc. A fresh approach often helps lift reluctant children’s approach.

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  11. My 4 year old loves telling back the stories but to my 6 and 9 year olds frustration to listen while she struggles through it! would love the try these ideas for the older ones!

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    • @Marzanne Pretorius True, it is tricky juggling listening to several children’s narrations! I often asked the older children to orally tell back their narrations while the little one listened. This gave her a sample of what I was looking for, as well as act as a refresher. Then the older children would begin their written narrations while I listened to the youngest child.
      When there are creative narration options, the older children are much more motivated and inspired.

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  12. Dynamite comes in small packages but this looks like a big package. I can only imagine the impact it will have. Thank you for taking the time to put it all together in one place. I am inspired to try alternative approaches. Love your ideas.

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  13. Narration is something I need to work on and do more of but my son really dislikes writing. It’s just a battle with the moaning and groaning so I have tended to neglect it to avoid these scenes. But your ideas look amazing so maybe he will be inspired to write! Thanks for all your hard work and all your helpful hints and ideas, Nadine!

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    • @Kerry Mc Donald, I am sure that if you use some non-written narration approaches, both you and your son will thoroughly enjoy the alternatives, and you’ll be amazed how detailed and accurate his narrations will be. Don’t worry about delaying written narrations for a season. His strength, confidence and writing ability will improve as he keeps narrating in other ways, and he will become much more positive.

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  14. We’ve used narration in the past but then somehow moved away from it. We’re getting back on track this year. Thanks for the helpful suggestions.

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  15. We’re just entering into the brave world of narration! We’ve done some informal narrations but I’m hoping that we can make a smooth transition to more proper narrations in homeschool (so smooth that nobody but me will know we’ve entered a new world 😉

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    • @Ann Noskowiak, I love your smooth transition approach! That’s exactly the way to go! Keep doing orals narrations with some of the new ideas in this booklet and then find alternatives that seamlessly and gently ease your children towards written, artistic or built narrations.

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  17. I feel like I over thought narrations with my oldest two and am trying hard to get back to it with the right mindset with the younger three. This booklet looks great! Thank you!

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    • @Jamie It is wonderful that we learn and grow as teachers in our homeschooling! I think I learnt the most from my younger two kids because they didn’t thrive on a traditional approach. Blessings as you journey with your younger three children.

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