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Two Questions About Typed Oral Narrations

Heart of Dakota - Dear Carrie - Two Questions About Typed Oral Narrations
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Two Questions About Typed Oral Narrations

First, let me say I am very impressed with the Heart of Dakota (HOD) follow-up activities in Missions to Modern Marvels (MTMM).  Some skills will be quite challenging for my son, but I know they are necessary skills for high school. As I have poured over my HOD MTMM guide, I have a question about the boxes that say I am to type up his oral narration. I know Julie said that she sometimes has her son narrate his on his phone, and then she types it. I like that idea! But, I have two questions.

First, do I type it exactly as he says it? He still struggles with not beginning every sentence with ‘then’ or ‘and.’ Is the point for me to type it just as he says it, so that he can look at it and realize where he needs to improve? Or, am I to correct it into proper sentences as I type it? I wasn’t sure since it gets folded and goes into his notebook.

Second, may I ask what the rationale is for the parent typing it? Why don’t the kids just type it? What am I missing? I am feeling like a mean mom here, but I am thinking that they can type it up just as well as I can. Thanks!


“Ms. Please Help Me with MTMM’s Typed Oral Narration”

Dear “Ms. Please Help Me with MTMM’s Typed Oral Narration,”

You’ve asked two great questions about typed oral narrations! As far as your first question, you’ll want to type it just as he says it. A typed oral narration is meant to be a “recording” of the way the child spoke the narration.

One thing that is great about recording the narration on a phone is that the child can go back and begin again narrating (if he doesn’t like the start). Or, he can pause and regroup while narrating to gain a better narration. This allows the student time to process and pause while narrating.

I allowed my son in MTMM to refer to the key words listed in the guide as he narrated. Sometimes he paused to look up a name, place, or date from his text. I thought this was fine, since the readings were getting much longer and more involved! I didn’t, however, allow my child to narrate while looking right at the pages of text.

What is the rationale for the parent typing the oral narration?

If you had your child type the narration, then it would be a written narration. When you type it from your child orally narrating, it is still an oral narration because you are listening to your child narrate orally (and then typing out what he said). Since written and oral narrations are two different forms of narrating, they have different sets of skills and different outputs.

If you had your child type his oral narration from his phone, then eventually I think the child would just want to skip the oral narration part as no one is really listening to him orally narrate anymore. He no longer has an audience for the oral narration, so at that point it just becomes a written narration.

It is wonderful to have a record of your child’s oral narrations, and typing them gives the child that record. There is often quite a bit of difference in output between an oral narration and written narration (especially in length, vocabulary used, tone, style, references to other things the child has read, etc.). An oral narration is given for an audience, which definitely affects the way it sounds. Written narrations are more a reflection of the author’s writing style, and include emphasis on spelling, grammar, punctuation, dates, names, places, etc. – which will definitely impact the length and style of the narration. Orally narrating is a less skill-intensive narration for a child at this point, making it more fun and less rule-oriented.


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