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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ideas for Narration & Book Reports

The following is not of my making, it is from the wise, experienced mothers that homeschool and visit The Well-Trained Mind message boards to share their fruits.

In Miss Mason's classroom I understand that every reading was narrated upon, but not every child narrated every time. However, the children never knew whether they would be called to narrate or not, so they had to be prepared. In homeschool classrooms we have a different dynamic- and if you have only one student, narrating every single time can grow tedious for both of you. You might try something we use called a narration jar. I have written a different type of narration on slips of paper. The child draws out a slip of paper after the reading and narrates in the manner indicated. I also don't have the same number of each- there are several 'narrate to Mama's' but only two play dough and skit suggestions. They draw the slip, and then return it to the jar, so the next narration has just as many choices.


  • Draw a picture of a character in the book and label it.
  • Draw a picture of a place in the book and label it.
  • Write a FULL description of one of the characters in the book.
  • Tell whether a character s actions are Godly or ungodly and why.
  • Set up a scene from the book, and re-tell it with blocks, or action figures.
  • Model something from the story using Play-dough.
  • Give a telling about what you just read into the tape recorder.
  • Give a telling to Mama about what you just read.
  • Write down three sentences about what you read.
  • Write an e-mail to Grandma about what you read.
  • You have 10 minutes to plan a short skit from what you read.
  • If you were giving a test on this reading, what are three questions you would ask?
  • Skip the narration today.
  • Create a mini-comic book relating a chapter of the book.
  • Using proper form, write a letter to a character in the book.
  • Make a time line of the events in the book.
  • Make a Venn diagram on the ways you are like and unlike one of the characters in your story.
  • Make a travel brochure advertising the setting of the story.
  • Make a chart of five interesting words as parent/child activity. Categorize by parts of speech.
  • Do some online research on a topic brought up in your book.

More for narrations and also to use as book reports:

  • Interview a character from your book. Write at least five questions that will give the character the opportunity to discuss his/her thoughts and feelings about his/her role in the story. However you choose to present your interview is up to you.
  • Write a diary that one of the story's main characters might have kept before, during, or after the book's events. Remember that the character's thoughts and feelings are very important in a diary.
  • Give a sales talk, pretending your family members and friends are clerks in a bookstore and you want them to push this book.
  • Write a letter (10-sentence minimum) to the main character of your book asking questions, protesting a situation, and/or making a complaint and/or a suggestion. This must be done in the correct letter format.
  • Make an illustrated timeline showing events of the story
  • Draw a map showing the location(s) where the story took place.
  • Make a poster about the book using any of the following media: paint, crayons, chalk, ink, real materials.
  • Make paper dolls & outfits for characters in the book. Explain who these characters are & how they fit in the story.
  • Write and perform an original song that tells the story of the book.
  • Be a TV or radio reporter, and give a report of a scene from the book as if it is happening "live".
  • Construct puppets and present a show of one or more interesting parts of the book.
  • Practice and then read to your family at dinner a favorite part of what you have read.
  • Write a different beginning for your story.
  • Make a poster advertising your book so someone else will want to read it.
  • Choose a quote from a character. Write why it would or wouldn't be a good motto by which to live your life.
  • Research something about the environment in which the book takes place. Tell the family at dinner time what you have learned.
  • Write a letter from one of the characters to a beloved grandparent or friend.
  • Send a postcard from one of the characters. Draw a picture on one side, write the message on the other.
  • Make a Venn diagram comparing your environment to the setting in the book.
  • Choose birthday gifts for one of the characters involved. Tell why you chose them.
  • Pretend that you are going to join the characters in the story. What things will you need to pack? You can only bring 2 suitcases. Think carefully, for you will be there for a week, and there is no going back home to get something!
  • Write a multiple choice quiz of what you have just read with at least ten questions.
  • You must give up your favorite pet (whom you love very much) to one of the characters in the book. Which character would you choose? Why?
  • Invite one of the characters to dinner, and plan an imaginary conversation with the person who will fix the meal. What will you serve, and why?
  • Pretend that you can spend a day with one of the characters. Which character would you choose? Why? What would you do?
  • Paint a watercolor picture of the story or parts of it.
  • Make a list of at least five words and definitions important to the story.
  • Make a list of new and unusual words and expressions from the book you are reading.
  • Write a letter to a friend about the book.
  • Copy three sentences from your book which show traits or emotions of the main character.
  • Write a letter from one character to another character in your book.
  • Write a paragraph telling about the title. Is it appropriate? Why? Why not?
  • Decide on an alternate title for the book. Why is it appropriate? Is it better than the one the book has now? Why or Why not?
  • Make a travel brochure inviting tourists to visit the setting of the book. What types of activities would there be for them to attend?
  • Make an ID card which belongs to one of the characters. Be sure to make the card look like the cards for that particular state. Include a picture and all information found on and ID card. Don't forget the signature!!
  • Research and write a 1 page report on the geographical setting of your story. Include an explanation as to why this setting was important to the effect of the story.
  • Make a test for the book you read. Include 3 true-false, 3 multiple choice, and 3 short essay questions. After writing the test, provide the answers for your questions.
  • Select one character from the book who has the qualities of a heroine or hero. List these qualities and tell why you think they are heroic.
  • Design an invitation to a party that you are planning for the characters in the book. Tell what food you would serve and why. Tell what games or entertainment you will provide and why your choices are appropriate. What kind of a party is this? (birthday, housewarming, un-birthday, anniversary, etc.)
  • Obtain a job application from the internet or from an employer in our area. Fill out the application as one of the characters in the book.
  • Finish these sentences with material growing out of the book: This book made me wish that... This book made me hope that... I wonder why
  • Choose an interesting character from your book. Consider the character's personality, likes and dislikes. Decide on a gift for him or her... something he or she would really like and use. Design a greeting card to go along with your gift. In the greeting, explain to your friend from the book why you selected the gift.
Use a jar per child. This post is credited to Tami of the WTM Boards, who also collected this information from various posts and other websites.

 

1 comment:

Jen said...

Hi Jessica!
This is great material! I haven't talked to you in soooooo long. We are going to visit a Classical Conversations program tomorrow.... have you heard of it? I am so excited about it! Who knows, it might not be a fit for our family, but it sounds very cool.
I haven't been blogging recently, have been very busy, but miss you! Email me if you get a chance!
Thanks and lots of love,
Mrs.Incredible Jen of Avonlea :)