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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New Biography Notebook Page Templates

Surprisingly often, in our History studies, we need to write a biography.

I designed a few new Biography Notebook Pages with a separate page of minibooks that can fit in the square on each page.  My children really love to add these little minibooks to their notebook pages.

Here is your free 5 page download  ~

Biography Notebook Pages

Go ahead and print out a few and keep them ready!


New Unusual Minibooks Master Template

Here is a mix of new and unusual minibooks.

I use my Master Template when I create new lapbooks or just need a new minibook for a notebook and minibook combination page. I print out a stash of minibooks to save time.  Sometimes my children want to choose their own minibooks, so I print out and paste the minibooks on a file folder or note paper.  Below are my latest examples:

Minibooks Featured above:

Rolled Inside Page Minibook

  • Cut the vertical slit in the 1 page and roll the inside page horizontally to insert through the slit.
  • Open the page out flat and fold closed around the outer page
  • This book provides up to 6 pages to write on

Arrow Flap Shutter Fold

  • A wonderful minibook for definitions, terminology and vocabulary
  • We use this for our LA study on prefixes and suffixes – prefix on arrow, prefix’s meaning on shutter fold and examples of words with that prefix inside the minibook.
  • Can be used for small diagrams, or science and  maths formulas

A neat narrow Pocket with Strips

  • Fits in several long strips
  • Great for lists and short notes

The common Hexagonal Petal Minibook

  • with 6 flaps/ petal pages for more space to write in your notes

The small Hexagonal Match Book

  • Folds like a matchbook
  • Neat and simple style

The newest unusual minibook is the bottom right corner – Triarama Minibook

  • A 3D fold with the background corner upright and the information corner folds over the bottom corner
  • It lies flat as seen here or folded in a triangle
  • Great for Geography or Science where a diagram forms the background and notes in front
  • My example here is for Maths literacy
  • Excellent for 2nd language with picture behind and vocabulary on the front corner.

Hidden behind the Triarama is the pink Collapsed Triangle Fold

  • Lovely large square for writing and illustrations
  • Folds to a neat triangle
  • Can be used vertically or horizontally

Minibooks Featured above:

A Venn Diagram Flap Minibook

  • Good for comparisons
  • Place pictures on the front covers and write information or lists under the flaps

One-Page 10 Page Minibook

  • A whole page with a simple cut folds to form a 10 page booklet.
  • Valuable minibook for narrations or summaries

Arrow 4 Page Minibook

  • An unusual tabbed minibook with plenty of space for notes and diagrams

A stylish Larger Pull Tab Minibook

  • Really good-sized tab pull with plenty of space for illustrations, notes or summary

Quilt Square Folds in Half

  • An easy quilt square with notes under each corner
  • The quilt square folds in half vertically or horizontally with a bordered front for pictures and title

Minibooks featured Above:

A wonderful new Fact Wheel

  • Write the questions on the outer edge of the big circle and the child writes the answers in the open segment with the same number as the question.
  • As the child turns the wheel the answer appears in the space
  • Great for revision!

An Envelope with Cards

  • Neat envelope and good-sized cards for information of pictures
  • We used stickers to close our envelope and my girls love to use sealing wax for an olden days envelope

Pop-up Card

  • An interesting card with space for 2 pop ups, but you could edit this for 1 picture instead
  • We use this often in Geography to depict rivers, rapids, tidal ocean zone etc.
  • Great for gift cards

A row of Pull Tab Minibooks

  • 3 minibooks in a row
  • Good for definitions, vocabulary and simple notes

I compiled a master template in MS Word version so that you can download and then use the images to make your own minibooks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Click here for your downloads

I will post some MS Word tutorials soon so that you can learn how to simply take the template, choose a minibook and add your own text and images.

PS: I popped a few extra little minibooks in the spaces around the larger minibooks featured here – Enjoy!


Parables of the Kingdom of God Minibook

An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Mark 4:3...

Image via Wikipedia

Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God as …

a mustard seed

good soil

a pearl or treasure

a lamp filled with oil

an invitation to a banquet

a servant forgiven much

a master’s vineyard

wars, earthquakes and signs

wages and a reward

For Bible narrations of each of these parables, I made my children a one-page minibook.

There is enough space on each page for a quick summary of each parable.

Click the title for your download ~ Parables Kingdom of God

I previously shared about our one-page minibooks!

For one-page minibooks,

you take 1 full-page,

fold it several times,

open and cut on the dotted line/s

and then fold it closed into a 6 or 10 page minibook.

For several different one-page templates ~ click here ~ One Page Minibook Templates


They are excellent minibooks to have handy in a file.

Print out about 10 of each and store them for spontaneous writing, summarizing a theme or topic, writing narrations, making cards and even writing recipes.




Time-Saving Tips for Doing Lapbooks

We regularly do lapbooks!

love organization.  I like efficiency.  I love getting to the fun part of writing in the minibooks without fuss and time-wasting.

But what you see in the photo above is NOT practical!

If we had to cut and fold and paste minibooks for each lesson, I would have given up lapbooks long ago.

I have found a wonderful way to prepare our lapbooks in advance, especially if you use several lapbooks regularly in your school week.

Let me share some of our time-saving tips:

1. Download and save your lapbook.

  • Save a back-up of your lapbook download on a memory stick/CD/ EHD (External Hard Drive)

2. Print out the minibooks, index and instructions.

  • I like to print the next project a few weeks ahead of my schedule.
  • Place the index, instructions and the printed pages in a plastic page protector and store these pages with the lapbook minibook pages until you have time to do number 3.

OR go straight ahead and …

3.  Spend one afternoon cutting out and stapling, folding and assembling each minibook.

  • I cut my 2 kids’ copies together to save time.  This usually takes one afternoon.
  • Or the kiddies can cut out minibooks for you.  They need all the cutting practice they can get!
  • We listen to a a read aloud or audio books while we are busy snipping and folding.
  • Use this master template to make your own stash of minibooks!.

4.  Store the folded minibooks in a Ziploc bag for each child (until you get time to do number 5).

(Check out Jimmie’s Collage – where I first saw this idea.)

Here is my problem ~  Stored minibooks are easily muddled and we waste time searching through them to complete the activity for that lesson, so this is a temporary storage.

Here are some other practical problems~

  • I paper-clipped the new minibooks together for each chapter, but the paper clips sometimes fall off.
  • Completed minibooks get muddled among the new minibooks, so I try store them separately.
  • So this is why the next step of pasting all the minibooks into the file folder before we start has saved us from lost and muddled minibooks and senseless time-wasting searches.

5.   IMPORTANT –  PASTE all the new minibooks in their file folders BEFORE you even start your lapbook!

  • Place the minibooks according to the recommended layout according to the instruction page, or according to sequence of the work.
  • The kids do an excellent job placing the minibooks on their own.  They shift and arrange the minibooks until they are happy with the layout.  A random layout has never been a problem.
  • They choose where they want to fix the extra cardboard flap or file folder if they need extra space.
  • We glue all the minibooks down.
  • This pasting stage gives the children an “overview” of the lapbook. They have a good idea of what they will cover.  It helps them find the correct minibook when I read or they research.
  • Note – When working on a lapbook and a child makes a complete mess of a minibook, simply cut out a paper to fit over the writing and cover the errors, if that is a concern for you or your child.  This has happened only once or twice in all our years of lapbooking.

6.  Duct tape the side of the lapbook and punch it if you want to store the lapbook in a ring-binder/ work file while you are working on the lapbook.

  • I love this method of storage.  It makes the lapbook part of our daily file work.
  • Trim the top of the file folders so that the lapbook to fit in the ringbinder/ file.  Check how we do this here.
  • When the lapbook is complete, it is easily filed with other lapbooks.
Duct tape on front of lapbook

Duct tape on front of lapbook

Fold over and stick duct tape to back of lapbook

Fold over and stick duct tape to back of lapbook creating a strip of folded duct tape

Punch holes into duct tape

Punch holes into the folded duct tape strip

7.  Now we are ready to start!

  • It only takes a moment to open the lapbook, glance over the minibook titles to find the current booklet.
  • The children can write in their minibooks and the job is complete.
  • Read Mom – Narration Scribe for ideas to help your young children write their narrations.
  • You’ll notice my young child copying over the pencil writing.  She had just started using cursive and wanted to master it in all her written work.  This made writing her narrations extra hard and slow, so I pencilled in her dictated narrations and she copied over it in pen. Boy, was she proud of her work!

There you have it – lapbooks quick and ready!

Hope this encourages you.  Lapbooks are the most fun activities in our homeschooling! 🙂

What tips do you have?

Blessings, Nadene

Make your own Mental Maths Practice Worksheets ~ Blank Templates

Do you want to make your own quick, fun maths worksheets?

If you visit my  Remedial Maths Activities Page you will find all the Mental Maths downloads.

View the original Mental Maths posts here  –

Mental Maths Practice ~ Fun Worksheets! and Maths Flowers for the photos and tips.

  • These downloads are in pdf file format and are great to just print and use.
  • Each set of worksheets has a blank template page.
  • I recommend that moms can print out about 10 blank templates and write in their own numbers that they want their children to practice.
  • Some moms place each page in plastic page protectors and use dry-wipe markers for quick and easy maths practice. They slip in a new page for the next practice.

I have had requests for these math templates in MS Word doc files so that moms can type in their own numbers for their own practices.

Microsoft Word

Image via Wikipedia

So, here are the blank Mental Maths templates:

How do I customize my blank template in MS Word?

  1. Download the Mental Maths Blank Template doc file
  2. Save it on your computer in your Homeschool/Maths file
  3. Now open this doc file
  4. Press Control + A to Select All (Everything will be highlighted. All the templates from this page will go on a hidden clipboard)
  5. Press Control + N to open a New Document
  6. Click on the new page
  7. Press Control + V and Paste (All the original templates will now go on to your new document.)
  8. Save and close the original (to reuse later.)
  9. Name and save your newly created blank templates with a new name (e.g.: homeschool/maths/multiples6)
  10. Now you can type in new numbers in the appropriate shapes.
  11. Click in the shape, and select a clear, large font, middle alignment
  12. If the shape does not allow text, right-click on the shape and select “Add Text” from the pop-up menu
  13. Save as you go.
  14. Print out the pages you have created
  15. Viola!  Your own mental maths practice worksheets

I hope this helps you! 🙂

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One-Page Minibook Templates

We like to make minibooks that have several pages using only 1 piece of paper. 

Here are 4 simple minibooks that my young children cut and fold without any trouble.

Teach your children to fold these minibooks on all the lines first and then cut on the dotted lines. Assemble the minibook by folding page 2 in towards page 3 and so on. 

(I have printed the page numbers on the top corner of each page.)

Here’s your download ~

4 One Page Minibook Templates

Hotdog one-page minibook

1. The hotdog one-page minibook

Creates an 8 page minibook.  All 8 pages are on the one page, which is excellent for printing and photocopying.  It is easy to cut the centre fold – just fold the page in half across the width and cut through the double paper on the dotted line.  Now open the page and re-fold the page in half lengthwise (which is why it is called a hot dog fold). Press the opening apart to form a diamond. Now flatten all the pages to form the book.

Although this seems tricky, my kids use this often and so they do it in a snap! (Look at the photos in my letterboxing post.)

long cut one-page minibook

2.   The long cut minibook

Is the easiest minibook to cut and assemble and creates a 10 page portrait (tall) style minibook.  Page 1 and page 10 are on the reverse of the page.  If you are printing or photocopying this minibook with pictures or text, you will have to print these pages separately, then cut and paste pages 1 & 10 to the front and pack pages of this minibook.

T-cut one-page portrait minibook

3.  The T-cut minibook

Is simple and easy to create.  It also forms a 10 page portrait (tall) style minibook.  Page 1 and page 10 are on the reverse of the page.   If you are printing or photocopying this minibook with pictures or text, you will have to print these pages separately, then cut and paste pages 1 & 10 to the front and pack pages of this minibook.

Landscape one-page minibook

4.  The landscape minibook

Is the most unusual minibook, yet it is simple  to make.  It forms a 10 page landscape (wide) style minibook.  Page 1 and page 10 are on the reverse of the page. If you are printing or photocopying this minibook with pictures or text, you will have to print these pages separately, then cut and paste page 1 & 10 to the front and pack pages of this minibook

Some practical tips:

  • Print out and fold  then cut each of the 4 different one-page folds. Discover which folds are easy!  They all are! 🙂
  • You can glue the folded pages together that fold back-to-back for extra firm minibooks.  (I’m going to experiment with sliding tabs or pop out concepts)
  • Keep a few printed blank pages in plastic protective sleeves (with all your other blank minibooks –  minibook master template download) in your lapbook file ready to use.

Enjoy these new pages!

Updates:  Look at the examples here ~