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Making a narration is a habit. Oral narration should be easier than written narration. Anyway, we need practice to get the kids used to both write and tell narration. There are a lot of methods used to get started with doing narration. Honestly, it wasn't easy for me to get our two boys sit down and write, even it was for doing copywork. Surprisingly, now they enjoy writing narration much better than doing copywork, especially when we have world history lesson. In this posting, I would like to share how we start doing narration and how we get the boys used to write narration.
First of all, there are a couple of narration types. Some people make narration by writing everything that they know about a topic or a subject. The longer he writes the better the narration will be. It means that the person has shown a great comprehension of the topic very well. On the other hand, some people have to write or state only the most important things in the topic or subject presented. It means that he only has to write some reasonably complex sentences to get the big picture of the topic or subject presented. On the second type of narration, the person has to summarize the topic and keep going with the points of explanation. What we are doing is the second one.
One book that really help us learning how to write a naration is Writing With Ease by Susan Wise Bauer. I never thought that this very simple book could help my sons writing narration in almost every subject in both Bahasa and English. It was just started by copy work a couple of sentences twice in a week, Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday and Thursday, the kids have to listen to a very short passage which is taken from selected famous books (the classic ones mainly). After listening to the passage, they need to answer 5 oral questions about the passage which help them to lead them getting the big picture of the passage and to get them more interested to know more about the story. When they have finished answering the questions, they had to write ONE complete sentence about the most important thing in the passage that they can remember. The difficulty and the length of the passage increased. I have never let them write without my observation. I have to make sure that they write properly as mistakes can happen because of habits.
Not only in the writing program did they learn writing narration, but they also practice with the same method in learning world history using Story of the World. In history, I ask them to write 5 sentences for one part of the passage rather than one sentence like it is in the writing lesson. Once they enjoy naration, I get them type their naration in notebook web-app in Notebookingpages.com.
Kids really enjoy the writing process. It is amazing. I have never learnt they can do it considering English is not our first language. We use mainly Indonesian in our conversation. In one and a half year they have English material apart from their bahasa and civic lessons.
To conclude, their ability doing narration comes from their habit in doing so little by little. I have never expect them writing narration for a long passage before, but it happens. We cannot let them just writing, but we need to supervise them as well. Once they know the process, they will know the expectation and they will be proud of their own result. We also have to provide some variation in their narration writing to make sure they will enjoy it.