Friday, May 11, 2012

Narration ideas and the Rower's Debut

            In our homeschool, we use narrations rather than comprehension questions and quizzes. Narration is deceptively simple; it requires the child to tell back, after a single reading, what they recall of a story or lesson. A younger child begins with short passages, like Aesop’s Fables, and gives narrations orally. I write down some of these narrations, and sometimes, I’ll ask the child to copy it into his composition book, perhaps illustrating what he’s written. At about the age of ten, the child begins to write more of his narrations – a few per week – while still giving an oral narration for each thing he’s read, whether for history, science, or literature. This means I listen to a plethora of narrations each day, but it’s been fascinating to see what they’ve learned.

            As of late, the Rower, 14, has grown tired of giving straight narrations of Moby Dick (what a long book!); he wanted a challenge. I found a fantastic list of narration ideas at Simply Charlotte Mason, and he jumped at the chance to try something different. He shocked me by choosing to write a ballad, and his enthusiasm is inspiring me to mix up the narrations a little bit and try more of the ideas with the other kids – perhaps some might work in your school. Here, in the Rower’s blogging debut, is his ballad.

The First Lowering

Hark hear the watchman crying out,
As the morning rooster crows.
Hark hear the watchman crying out,
Shouting out from his high post
Hear the clock of action toll,
Singing out its rising notes
“Hasten, hasten!” it extols,
“Each man quickly to the boats!”
“Hasten, hasten!” it extols,
And a war cry wells up in each throat.

In the fray of action,
The time for thought has come and gone.
Instinct, the minds now ruling faction,
Urges now the hunters on.
They rush forth with steely lance,
Like great plunging razor talons
”I’ll not rest,” say they in fierce trance,
“Till I or foe have fallen.”
And so the hunters chase, and chase,
Until they have found their prey.
As the leopard prowls the jungle,
So they sail in ocean spray.
”Heave ho, my hearties,”
Starbuck now doth urge,
“Break your back, my rowing party,
And I’ll not let our paths diverge.”

So the intrepid hunters these,
Have come to the beast they would have die.
The harpooner knight sets his lance free,
He lets his harpoon fly,
And when it hits the beast,
And pierces his great side,
There is a mighty wave unleashed,
Stronger than a full moon’s tide.
Crew and captain are cast from boat,
Into the churning waters,
Into the water they’re all thrown,
Into the churning waters.

Our heroes float by capsized boat,
Wishing to heaven for
Something that seems beyond all hope;
To be rejoined
With the vessel they were on before.
Alas, they had been left for dead,
For a gale had struck the sea.
But there is no great need for fret,
As you soon shall see;
The main ship had kept its first course,
And by some course of luck,
It made its way to the very place,
Where whale and boat had struck.
And so the warriors
But unhurt,
To hunt another day.

Wishing you a beautiful day, and

Trusting in Him,

****note**** I've had a few comments sent to my inbox that are unavailable when I try to read them online. If you've written and I haven't seen your comment, so sorry! I do love the chance to "meet" visitors here and value your comments!

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