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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Friday, April 22, 2011

How to use PR skills in writing across the board Activity 4 Using Narration as a springboard for better writing

Narration is heavily used in classical and Charlotte Mason education. The tool is a wonderful place to encourage your students to put their thoughts into words for communication. Well, initially, this may not come easily for everyone, so I have found that when I show my kiddos what they've said, it has helped them to improve their narrations and ability to create complete sentences off the cuff. Here's an example that we worked through on the WTM boards.

The Pilgrims came to America in the Mayflower. With the help of a English speaking indian named Sqanto they found food. Then they had a big feast called Thanksgiving.
Why did the Pilgrims come to America? (pulling out the main idea).


For jobs, money and freedom.
That's right. That's a good place to start. Why don't you put that into a sentence. Be sure to include who we're talking about and what they did.

The Pilgrims came to America for jobs, money, and freedom.

The Pilgrims came to America in the Mayflower.
What is the Mayflower?

A ship.
Let's fit that into our sentence.

The Pilgrims came to America in a ship called the Mayflower.
Where did they come from?

Europe.
Let's add that in, too. You might also use the word, travel, since you already used "came" in the first sentence.

The Pilgrims traveled from Europe to America in a ship called the Mayflower.
With the help of a English speaking indian named Sqanto they found food.

Let's fix a couple of spelling errors. Remember that you're talking about a specific group of people, Indians, so how do we spell when using a specific group?

We capitalize.
That's right.

Also, Q is always written....

QU (a Rule Tune in our house).
That's right. Let's spell Squanto again.

S-QU-A-N-T-O.
Good work.

What sorts of food did they find? Let's pick three to add to our sentence.

Corn, deer, and squash.

How did they get corn and squash?

The grew it.

Right. How about deer?

They hunted deer.

That's right! Let's add that to our sentence.

With the help of an English speaking Indian named Squanto....(I pause so they can finish), they grew corn and squash and learned where to hunt for deer.

Then they had a big feast called Thanksgiving.

Why did they have this big feast?

I don't know.

Where they happy about something?

Yes. They didn't die and made new friends.

Doesn't that sound like a celebration because they survived?

Yes.

Let's use the words, celebrate and survival, in our sentence. Listen to this one:


Then they had a big feast, called Thanksgiving, to celebrate their survival and friendship.


Repeat that back to me.

Then they had a big feast, called Thanksgiving, to celebrate their survival and friendship.


I'd type it (instead of writing), then I print, allow for space to illustrate or color a picture we can insert, then I have them read it back to me. This remodeling is practice that encourages good sentence writing. You'll find when they first start writing on their own, you'll need to remind them a few times of the same sort of things, but very soon, they'll get it and begin writing great sentences! This is easily done in any subject area.

That's the general idea of how narration works in our house. We have transitioned to writing summaries with our studies, but if we're really busy one day, I'll type it out and follow this model. I do this as a catechism or drill to get them used to descriptive and intentional writing from the beginning. It's an area I lacked with the first round of kiddos, so now that I know better, I get started on these things right away!

All of the skills displayed as teacher, are taught in PR through the DVDs, so I get a TON of teacher training. I have also found, that once I learn how to do this in the upper levels, it is easily carried over to the younger students. A mention of this here, a mention of that there...it's sticking and my little guys are writing really well!

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