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
  • Subscribe Click to receive all my new posts packed with practical tips, projects, plans, pages & art ideas by email
  • Facebook Follow Practical Pages on Facebook

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!

In fact we are working on 2 lapbooks for different subjects at the moment.

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 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.

  • Seriously, save a back-up of your lapbook download on a memory stick/CD/ EHD (External Hard Drive)
  • Check out the lapbook links on my side bar.  Most our lapbooks we have made are free.
  • Have you looked at Practical Pages’ Lapbook pages for free lapbooks? 🙂

2. Print out the minibooks, index and instructions.

  • I like to print the next project a few weeks ahead.
  • 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.
  • The kiddies can cut out minibooks for you.  They need all the cutting practice they can get!
  • We listen to audio books while our hands are busy.
  • They listen to a read aloud on the theme while they cut and fold!

OR use an afternoon to make your own stash of minibooks!  Use this master template.

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

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

  • 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.
  • I have 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 has saved us from time-wasting …

5.   IMPORTANT Let your children paste all the new minibooks in their file folders BEFORE you even start your lapbook!

  • I find that the printed diagrams (in lapbook instructions) show fairly random minibook placement.
  • The kids do an excellent job placing the minibooks on their own.  They shift and move the minibooks until they are happy with the arrangement.
  • 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 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.
  • Of course, you can place the minibooks according to the recommended layout, or according to sequence of the work.

6.  Duct tape the side of the lapbook and punch it to store the lapbook in a ringbinder/ work file.

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

Punch holes into duct tape

Punch holes into duct tape

  • 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.

7.  Now we are ready to start!

  • It only takes a moment to glance through 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?

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! 🙂

As I am constantly creating more Practical Pages to add to our collection, please subscribe or click on my RSS feed under my Gravatar to receive notification of the latest posts.