Narration Notecards & Word Banks

Narrations are a wonderful way for a child to retell or write what they have learnt from their reading, but it requires a complex combination of skills and many children need a little practical help to learn how to write their narrations accurately and in detail.  Using Charlotte’s methods, children should not look back at the chapter, so how can we help them remember the important facts and write with correct spelling?

Sonya of Simply Charlotte Mason describes how to use Narration Notecards  on an index card and some key words from the chapter jotted under four headings: People, Places, Dates, Vocabulary

Sonya describes how to use these notecards:

  1. Pre-read the assigned chapter and jots down key words in those four categories.
  2. Includes some difficult words to spell.
  3. Label the card with the chapter number and pop it into the book as a bookmark for her student.
  4. Use those index cards to jot down ideas for narration prompts (beginner to advanced) for each chapter.

The child uses the card as either a preview and scans the words before he reads (if reading independently) or refers to the listed words as needed after he reads. Those word lists will give him the correct spellings without his looking back through the chapter.  If he thinks of another word from the chapter that he wants to use in his narration, he/she simply adds it to the notecard.

Sonya includes some additional activities using the Narration  Notecards ~

  • Choose a few of the key words from the notecard to highlight before you read. Write those words in a visible location and instruct your student to listen/read attentively for them.
  • Define the chosen words if necessary in a personal dictionary.
  • Use a map to look up any of the places listed.
  • Use the dates to prompt Book of Centuries entries.
  • For an extra challenge, and only every once in a while, you might see if your older student can include every word on the card in his narration.
  • Reuse the notecards whenever you revisit those books as your children grow.
  • You can store your Narration Notecards in an index card box and use the handy title cards as dividers between the sets.

I used a similar method with Word Banks where I describe how I teach my child to find and jot  key words  using a white tile instead of notecards.

  1. We work together and write key words after we finished the reading.
  2. First I demonstrate how to find key words in the first sentence, then the first paragraph.
  3. Then she told me what key words to write in the next paragraph.
  4. After some practice, she wrote her own words.
  5. Next, she used these key words to write her own sentences.  I explained how she can rearrange the word order to write her own original sentences.
  6. Before long, she notes the key words and then writes with greater ease and confidence.

Here some narration posts I have written over the years ~

I hope these posts and ideas help you and your children produce excellent and interesting narrations with greater joy and less stress.

Blessings, Nadene

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