Illustrated Narrations

A reader wrote and asked me, 

“I understand that my 10-year-old should be writing some of his narrations, but he still balks when faced with his blank notebook page.  How do I encourage his early written narrations.  He’s very visual and artistic.  Does an illustration count as narrations?”

Narrations (or “telling back”) are the cornerstone of a Charlotte Mason education and this complex learning activity takes years to master before your child can confidently write his written narrations.  Illustrations are an excellent starting point for early narrations.

Here are some creative narration ideas ~

  • Draw or illustrate the most important scene/ the ending/ the main character/ the surroundings/ machines or inventions mentioned.  Draw articles mentioned instead of making lists.  My kindergartener start drawing pictures of their narrations in a large jotter.   Sometimes this was part of their “busy hands with listening ears” activity while I read aloud.  Afterwards,  as they told me what they remembered of the story, I jotted their narrations next to or under their illustration, capturing a detailed, personal retelling.
  • Earth Solar System Comics 004Mom prints the child’s dictated narration next to or under their illustrations in pencil.  Encourage young writers to then trace over the penciled narration with a colored pen or felt-tipped pen.  This forms excellent handwriting practice and develops the child’s handwriting stamina.  It also looks like “their own” narration — which it is!
  • Draw a comic strip of the narration.  A comic strip can include a massive amount of information!    Comics with just 6 blocks can easily sum up entire chapters and are great for imaginative, visual children.  Comic strips help a child order or sequence their narrations. We did a whole series of comic strips for our Astronomy studies.  Here is my free blank comic notebooking page.
  • https://practicalpages.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/p1080498.jpg?w=300&h=225Make a model or 3D image.  Children love creating paper or cardstock models, like the 3D Little House in the Big Woods.  My children loved to illustrate, color in and cut out the windows, doors, and other folds which, when pasted correctly, formed three-dimensional illustrations.  Young children love to lift flaps and look inside doors and windows!
  • https://practicalpages.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/p1080139.jpgUse those Lego blocks for narrations!  Children draw the backdrops and characters for the scenes in the reading.  Punch suitably sized and spaced holes into the cardstock to fit the Lego blocks and clip in between Lego blocks to stand upright.   Children can “act out” their narrations.  They placed their cardstock scenes and characters into an envelope pasted on their notebook page to store them safely.
  • https://practicalpages.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/p1070351.jpg?w=300&h=225Use minibooks instead of a large notebook page.  This helps the child feel more confident that he just has a small space to fill  and he need not fill a whole blank notebook page.   I often combined minibooks with my notebook pages.  The image and heading on the front of the minibook provided an excellent narration prompt.  My young kids loved these minibooks and enjoyed planning their own page layout and often filled a large notebook page with several narration-filled booklets.  A real Win-Win!
  • Lapbooks follow the same principle mentioned above and we used lapbooks for almost all  middle school subjects.   I believe that lapbooks are an excellent transition to formal notebook narrations.

I hope that these ideas help and encourage you and your child develop creative narrations!

Blessings, Nadene

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Solar System ~ Stars Nebulas & Supernovas

During our Apologia Astronomy studies this past year and these first months we have been amazed at the incredible synchronicity of astronomy news and discoveries!

This week, while we studied stars, nebula and supernovas, BBC News reported the discovery of

Doomed twin stars found at nebula’s heart

Planetary nebula Henize 2-428

The odd shape of the nebula can be explained by the “double-degenerate” pair of stars at its core (Image: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31310355)

I also used this opportunity to teach my 12-year-old to create her own minibooks for her Solar System Lapbook.  Using MSWord, Miss.L12 opened my Minibook Master Template, copied a template, inserted and pasted images & text boxes, grouped shapes, cropped, saved and printed these minibooks ~

 

Stars nebulas supernova minibooks

As it is summer here in South Africa, we went out to star gaze one night.

Homeschool 20152Using our large telescope, we all took turns to view Jupiter and the rising moon.  We managed to identify several constellations, especially Orion and its major stars Rigel and Betelgeuse.  We also used our famous Southern Cross and The Pointers stars to draw imaginary lines to find due south. Our Southern Star Wheel was also very handy, as were the reference books I borrowed from our local library.

(Tip: New homeschool moms, ask your local library to register you as a teacher.  They then usually allow you to take out more books on block loans for longer periods than those permitted by conventional members.  Registered with the library, homeschooled children may also take out extra books for the normal loan period.)

Here are your free downloads ~

References ~

Enjoy your stars and astronomy studies!

Blessings,

Parable Minibooks

blog parable minibooks

My 10-year-old loves our daily Parables minibooks.

She enjoys reading the full, MKJV scriptures in each booklet by herself,

and then narrate the parable back to me.

We have wonderful discussions

and she amazes me with her spiritual insights.

Most of all, she loves to add some things to each minibook  ~

a patch on old cloth,

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some seeds,

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a few grains of yeast,

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jewels,

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a pearl,

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some netting and some colored fish,

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a fluffy lamb

P1160232Her simple delight in these little “add on’s” is a reminder that

young children love the concrete, hands-on activities.

My child’s inspiration has transformed her ‘ordinary’ Bible Notebook pages

into something unique and special!

I am a facilitator to her creativity.

Her notebook pages may turn out quite differently to the way I imagined them,

and that is precisely how it should be ~

HER own!

How do your children make their Bible Study personal?

Blessings,