For school today, I had Matthew start doing story narration. I have him read a book and then he is to close the book and tell the story back to me in his own words. While he’s retelling the story, I type out each word. He was so enthralled by the fact that I was typing each word that comes out of his mouth that he narrated four books in one sitting. He wanted to do more but I had to put a stop to it because I was tired. What a boy!
Here is a sample of his narration of The Clown of God by Tommie DePaola. The words are exactly as he spoke, verbatim, without correction and without any prompting on my part:
The story tells that Giovanni can juggle. He made the people laugh and then they threw rocks at him. He ran away for his life and he said goodbye to the people in the store. Then he set off for a journey and he fell asleep in a corner of a church. He said to Mary, “I wish I could give your child something.” He juggled for the child. Then his old heart stopped and fell down dead.
This narration is shorter than the others but he nailed the story for the most part. This book tells a very heart-warming story about a man named Giovanni who offers his best juggling act for the Christ child. I would recommend it for those who are interested.
I want to continue story narration with Matthew and as we practice more, I will encourage him to refine his story telling. Narration is a very simple and good technique in finding out whether the child understands what he reads. If he can retell the story, he understands it.