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Examples of Narrations in Missions to Modern Marvels

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From Our House to Yours

Examples of Narrations in Older Guides

A key component of Charlotte Mason’s method is narration. In simple terms, narration is telling back in your own words what you just read or heard. It’s a wonderful evaluation tool that requires much thinking and assimilating on the student’s part. Narration invites the child’s individual personality to become part of the learning process. Furthermore, narration strengthens and challenges all the powers of mind. Attending, remembering, visualizing, comprehending, synthesizing, and articulating are the result of placing our trust in this method. Below you will find some examples of narrations from my sons. They gave these narrations in their 8th grade year of Heart of Dakota.

An Example of a Narration from MTMM’s All American History 

Oral Narration Example by Emmett
All American History

Two revolutions occurred in Russia in 1917.  There was one in February where the Tsar was overthrown, and one in October where the Bolshevik Party took over rule in Russia.  Their leader, Vladimir Lenin, immediately called for peace talks with Germany, trying to ally themselves with Germany.

In the summer of 1918, the U.S. Americans joined the war to help out their close neighbor, Great Britain.  Great Britain was in a tough spot and was out of soldiers and a navy.  The Americans fought back Germany with the help of Great Britain, and France had its blockade starving the Germans in their own country, so widespread rioting broke out in Germany.  Many people were calling for peace, as Germany was not going to be the world power.  Their leader, Kaiser Wilhelm the II, was the man who stepped down and called for peace.

One consequence that happened in the the first World War was that 8.5 million solders (including approximately 116,000 American soldiers) died. 21 million other soldiers were wounded.  Also, many countries including Great Britain, Hungary, the Ottoman Turks, and many others had borrowed lots of money due to the war.  America had also done this, but many countries had borrowed money from America. After the war, America demanded money back, so that they would be in a better financial state.  So, not like many other countries, American came out of the first World War in a good financial and health state.

An Example of a Narration from MTMM’s Story of the World

Oral Narration Example by Emmett
Story of the World

China was filled with unhappiness. Its population was growing so fast that there was not enough food to keep it sustained. Worst of all, the Quing Dynasty seemed to have no power at all.  The former Empress Cixi had just passed away, and the 3-year-old young Prince Puyi was next established to rule.  Little did they know that Puyi would be the last Emperor of the Quing Dynasty!

At 3, Puyi could not rule in China, so his advisers (or noblemen as they were called) ruled for him until he was old enough.  Puyi’s palace in China was all the color of gold. He was followed around by numerous servants and also by a doctor with medicines in case he coughed or sneezed.

Puyi was treated like a little god, and the Chinese people did not like this. At each meal, he would be fed 6 tables of food from which he could choose from.  Finally, the Chinese people rebelled.  The revolt began in the Sichuan. Then, the king regents announced that there would be a republic instead of an emperor.

Continuing On…

The Quing regents also said that railroad projects would be taken over by China, for China was boxed in by many numerous countries that each had their little piece of China, for China had done a bad job defending itself for the past many years.

Son Sunyixian had tried to lead a rebellion against the Quing Dynasty 16 years ago. He now came back from exile and went in as the President of the New Republic that was established in Nanjing.  The Quing Dynasty had ended, and for the first time in many years it was without an Emperor.

The little prince who was barely 8 years old was allowed to stay in his palace. A British official visited him every now and then to give him English lessons.  Puyi asked his tutor if he could choose an English name. He was given a list of names to choose from and finally picked Henry. He was from then on named Henry Puyi.

When he was 20 years old, he left the forbidden city. Thirty-two years later returned to his palace as a little known tourist.  When Henry came back to this place, he remembered the days that he was treated like a god.

Another Example of a Narration from MTMM’s Story of the World

Oral Narration Example by Riley
Story of the World

Imagine you were born in London in the year 1930.  When you were about 4 years old, you started understanding by your parents’ talking that Adolf Hitler was a bad person.  Imagine if when you were 9, and now you could understand why Hitler was not a good person, England declared war on Germany.  When you became 10, ration books were given out with special coupons in them.  Every time you spent a coupon, you could get something that wasn’t allowed, such as meat, sugar, and eggs.  But, once you were out of coupons, you couldn’t get any more, so you had to make it last through the whole war, which was 5 years.

Eventually, England’s leaders decided they should move all children out of England.  So, you went to live with some relations in Wales.  About 3 years later, London says it is ok now to come home, cuz the war is over.  Your parents are happy to see you, and you are glad to see your parents, and everything can go back to normal.  But after 5 years of war, what is normal?

Continuing On…

Now, in 1945, all  countries that fought in the war except for the U.S.A. were quite badly offer economically, as the closest place to the United States that got attacked was Pearl Harbor.  So, America’s government came up with the Marshall Plan.  They discovered all countries that fought in the war, except for Russia who refused U.S.A.’s help, altogether would need about 20 billion dollars.  So, America started trying to help countries rebuild.  To help convince people that donating to the Marshall Plan was a good idea, the American government made a series of movies.  These movies showed advancements in France, Germany, and England, where American money helped build part or sometimes all of what they were showing.

Meanwhile, the Russians, the French, and the British were having a hard time of deciding how to divvy up Germany, not as a colony, but just how to set up the new government.  So eventually, they split Germany into 2 parts – one part the French and the British put in a government instead of a democracy.  In the east half, the Russians turned it into Communist and limited many of the things the west side didn’t.  Many of the eastern Germans realized that their government and things allowed on the west side was much better, so over the course  of 2 years East Germany lost 2 million Germans to the west side.

Then, one night, Russian soldiers put up a fence, right in-between eastern and western Germany and around their half of Germany.  Nobody could go in or out of East Germany, especially from West Germany.  Some 200 Germans died trying to get to the West side, though many still succeeded, it shows a democratic government is better than communism.

In Closing

I noted “Continuing On” as blogs are to be separated with subheadings at least every 300 words. Just thought I should explain in case you wondered why those words were in the middle of the last two narrations! Anyway, I know when I first started learning about narrations, all I wanted was to read some examples. Hopefully these examples from our own children’s narrations will be helpful in some way to you!

In Christ,



This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Bethany

    These are so well done! I would love to see some examples of narrations from Bigger and Preparing. I feel like somehow we aren’t doing it right. My boys (8 & 10) still need a lot of prompting questions and say as little as they can get away with when narrating. But if they want to tell me about something they read or watched outside of school they can remember all the details and go on and on! Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Bethany! Riley was 13 years old when he did this narration back when he did Missions to Modern Marvels. Emmett is 13 years old and doing these narrations now that he is doing Missions to Modern Marvels. There is absolutely no way they would have been able to do this well with narrations when they were 8 and 10 years old! So, let me encourage you that narrations become better and lengthen as children move up through the guides. Children who have never narrated before who are older and just beginning Heart of Dakota in upper guides will need more time to lengthen their narrations and find their own personal style in narrating, as it will be totally new to them.

      In Bigger Hearts for His Glory, narrations are all oral narrations and they are typically shorter. In Preparing Hearts for His Glory, children begin to give longer oral narrations and written narrations begin. Written narrations are guided and only 1-3 sentences in length. My next “More Than a Charlotte Mason” post has sample narrations from Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory and Bigger Hearts for His Glory.

      As far as suggestions for helping kiddos improve in their narrations, I would follow the Narration Tips: Teacher’s List and the How to Narrate: Student’s List in the Appendix of Bigger Hearts and Preparing Hearts. These tips are tried and true, and they work! Hope this helps, but just remember, narration truly is a lifelong skill that takes time to develop! Your kiddos will grow and mature in narrating through their years with Heart of Dakota – I am sure of it!

      In Christ,

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