I love narration for many reasons. It makes my job as teacher much easier because I don’t have to come up with fancy lesson plans and evaluative questions and it saves time-a lot of time. Knowing that narration is actually better for the development of my children's mental processes rather than the use of worksheets, is also reassuring to this mom. Remember, they have to recreate in their minds what they just read, using complete sentences, new vocabulary and orderly sequencing. This requires more complex thinking skills than answering questions and yet narration is more enjoyable. The children like it because they enjoy expressing what they know rather than having to worry over giving an answer that perfectly matches a narrow question. After all, their minds are bursting with new ideas and they just want to share them in their own way. Firing questions at a child will put the life out of his newfound knowledge quicker than a wink.
However, even narration can grow tedious for a child if he is repeatedly expected to retell the events from most of his schoolbooks day in and day out. Children are very good at making and having fun. I have noticed that my kiddos try to find enjoyment in everything they do. This is why I am always telling my 4 year old to stop skipping through the house; and to my 8dd-'stop chatting while you write.' While lessons need not always be with a party atmosphere, I agree with Mary Poppins, "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and snap, the job's a game." (And she ought to know since she is practically perfect in every way.)
Miss Mason spoke of various narration methods. Here are some of the forms that we use on a regular basis:
Summary (for older students)
Make 5 questions