More Than a Charlotte Mason Moment
Samples of Oral Narrations in Younger Guides
Narrating is a process that changes the narrator over time, so children should not feel bad in any way about their narrations. There is not a wrong way, rather more of a progression in narration. I am a summary type person too, and it has stretched me immensely to have to model narrations for my children. I think I have grown as a narrator through the years too, and it has been a journey!
Charlotte Mason’s References to Narrations
If you do have Charlotte Mason’s (CM’s) original volumes, you may wish to read the following sample sections as time allows. There are many more references related to narration, but these are great ones to begin pondering. I must share that I do deviate from CM’s philosophy in the area of grammar instruction. We do also schedule more formal writing outside of written narrations too than she advocated, so I am not a CM purist. But, she has so much that is good to say that I deeply love her philosophy and enjoy the wisdom she shares.:
- Home Education Volume 1: p. 231-233 (on oral narrations)
- School Education Volume 3: p. 178-181
- A Philosophy of Education Volume 6: p. 16-18; p. 171- top of p. 174, p. 185 (top), p.260-261
Sample Storytime Narration from the Beginning of Beyond Little Hearts
Oral Narration Sample by Riley
Feb. 3, 2009
A Lion to Guard Us, Chapter 3
Mistress Trippet came to check the kitchen, and she looked everywhere that she usually did. She looked in the room and she said, “How old are these kids? How old is the boy?”
“How old is the girl?”
And when Mistress Trippet went upstairs, the doctor came in. The cook said, “Amanda, go and get a pail of water!” That wasn’t very nice, was it?
The doctor came in and then he said, “Come with me, Amanda.” And she did, and then went dark into the hall. And he said, “Your mother has died.”
Sample Storytime Narration from the Middle of Beyond Little Hearts
Oral Narration Sample by Riley
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
The crowds were standing in line for 1 or 2 miles long, just to get tickets to see the Popper’s Performing Penguins! Now when the piano player, the girl, didn’t want the penguins up on the stage while she played the piano, but then they discovered a different way to the stage. And Mr. Popper said, “I’m not going up there to get those penguins!”
Bill said, “We’d better catch them before they go up there and chew all of the strings off the guitars.”
So, Mrs. Popper said, “I’ll go up.” And then the penguins hid under the girl piano player’s skirts, and then she shrieked! And that was NOT part of the note written in the music.
And then they were on their way to Boston. They went to Mexico and Minneapolis, and Stillwater. Now they are going to Boston. Now the penguins are getting a little crabby, so they now ordered shrimp again because fish was too expensive. They ordered canned shrimp, and Mr. Popper said, “We only allow canned shrimp for these penguins.”
The president said that any store wherever they were staying would give them free shrimp, so now they are going to Boston, and the crowd was 1 mile long, just waiting for tickets.
Sample Storytime Narration from Near the End of Beyond Little Hearts
Riley’s Sample Narration
Jan. 13, 2010
The weather was brooding, and Peter was at Granny’s house working for his coat and his new vest. And the wind started blowing, and it was sharp and cold from the southeast. And then Granny said, “Peter! You’d better go home. The wind’s picking up!”
And Mary and Peter had planned to do a game night tonight, but the wind was just picking up too much. They were going to play checkers and some other kinds of games, and Granny was going to read them a letter.
So Peter went in, got his vest and his coat on, and he said, “Goodbye, Mary! I’ll have some nice wool for you, and I’ll take extra care of the lamb, so that the wool will be strong.”
“And after a few years,” Granny said, “you’ll be in manhood. You’ll have to give me white wool, and I’ll have to dye it dark blue. It’ll take you to manhood, but then you’ll need a new coat.”
Then Peter said, “Bye, Granny! Bye, Mary!”
Granny gave him a slice of bread and his milk, and then he started on his journey home.
Sample Storytime Narration from the End of Beyond Little Hearts
Riley’s Sample Oral Narration
The Apple and the Arrow
All of the friends were in their house, and then he said, “Everyone, be quiet! I know you want to know what happened.” And Wolfgang said that the great Gessler had drowned.
And everybody shouted, “Hooray!”
And then Grandfather said, ”Everyone please be quiet and please go back to your own homes. Hedwig needs some time alone.”
So everybody went out, and then it started to rain again. When the rain hit the chimney, it sounded like a clock going tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
And then the rain stopped, and then soon all went to bed. Hedwig let Prinz sleep on the rug beside the fireplace, just this once. And in the morning, they got up, had a great breakfast, and at noon they heard a hard knocking on the door. Walter jumped up from his bed! And saw his father burst into the door! They ran to him saying, “Father, father, father, how did you get out?”
Then Hedwig said, “Don’t you see your father needs some rest! He will talk to you later and tell you later.”
Sample Science Narration from the Beginning of Bigger Hearts
Greyson’s Sample Narration
Unit 3 Science, Bigger Hearts for His Glory
Jan. 19, 2011
When the tide comes in, it covers up the animals. First of all, take a mussel for instance, he gulps up water so his shell is full of it so that he can breathe and stay moist. Shrimps capture little worms underwater, and then they eat the worms. When the tide goes out then, the mussel glues himself to the ground. Take a limpet… they float back to their resting place and glue themselves to the ground too. Try moving one of those! Only in really big storms can you move the mussels and limpets. Crabs hide under rocks when the tide goes out. Day after the day, the tide goes in and the tide goes out, and repeats. And so the animals follow that cycle of float around, get food, and get back on the ground before you’re washed out to sea.
I know when I first started learning about narrations, all I wanted was to read some samples. Hopefully these samples from our own children’s narrations when they were younger will be helpful in some way to you!