As high school students, my boys are enjoying some varied kinds of narrations from their readings each week. We are having a great time finding creative ways to follow up each day’s reading. Tapestry of Grace has helped me to come up with ideas that I would have had a hard time creating myself. I thought I would share what we have tried to maybe spark some ideas in your family. Narration can be so much more than reading and narrating orally or in writing…..and a lot of fun as well.
Interview a character from history: This week my son wrote a short interview with the Marquis de Lafayette. He loves this sort of thing and had a really good time sharing what he knew about Lafayette in his writing….which included lots of quotation marks and was very good practice in using correct punctuation. Tapestry of Grace includes a list of important people in their weekly plans and we often use the list to focus on one particular person for oral or written narrations.
Newspaper articles: My boys are in the middle of a six week project to write a colonial style newspaper using information that they encounter each week during their history reading. This idea came straight from a lower level writing assignment in Tapestry of Grace. This has turned out to be one of the highlights of their writing year. On Mondays we discuss possible topics and on Wednesday during their writing time, they write their article. We are gathering up the articles and during the last two weeks of school we will be putting them together using Publisher in a newspaper format to print out and share at our Unit Celebration. Both boys have a flair for this sort of writing and it is a easy way to have them learn to summarize an event or topic.
Recitation: Each week at the rhetoric level, the TOG literature plans include a selection from the literature assignment to use as a recitation piece. We do not do this every week as planned but rather choose a week that we know we will have a little extra time to devote to recitation. This week we are using the suggestion from Gulliver’s Travels to have the boys recount an episode from their literature. This simple to use suggestion helps us focus a little more on our reading. The enthusiasm for this sort of narration makes it a great choice in our family.
Map work: We have spent a lot of our homeschooling years looking at maps and recreating maps as part of our schoolwork. We started off the year completing the suggested geography assignments in TOG. Now that the boys are in high school, we quickly realized that most of what is assigned has been covered in previous years and it became tedious. I came up with a way to make the experience more in the style of Charlotte Mason. We now skim the list of geographical places in the assignment and pick one specific place for each boy to learn more about during the week. On Fridays, each of my boys gives an oral narration about their assigned place and share why it was important during the historical time period we are studying. For example, this week on Friday I will hear about Savannah, GA and Philadelphia, PA. These geography narrations are simple ways to focus the boys a little more and to generally understand how geography plays a role in history.
Note: I do own the Map Aids CD and I think it is well worth the money to have on hand. I usually print out the completed maps for the boys to include in their notebooks. They shade them if they have time and make sure they know where each geographical place is on the map.
I think I will finish there and share some other ways in future blog posts. When we finish the newspaper in a few weeks, I will see if the boys will give me permission to post a copy of it here on the blog.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom