We love using living books in our homeschool. Rather than a dry textbook full of facts, we simply read great historical fiction to learn about history. We also use some literature to learn about science. We make the subjects come alive through reading. For history a read aloud may be a Little House on The Prairie book or the Courage of Sarah Noble. For science we have been loving the Thornton Burgess Animal Stories. We have read The Burgess Bird Book for Children,The Adventures of Grandfather Frog, and The Adventures of Peter Cottontail.
I usually read the books aloud while all of the kids listen. Afterwards I use narration to help solidify what they have read. For instance, I will ask them to tell me back what I just read, or write a paragraph.
In using various activities I have implemented, they are still narrating but with a twist.
- Draw a picture of a scene in the story that you just heard
- Act out a scene from the story
- Write a newspaper article about the story line
- Video yourself telling back the story (some kids will love this simply because they get to see themselves on video)
- For the boys, especially-Use the Legos to recreate a scene from the story. This was especially fun for my boys in narrating history when we studied the Revolutionary War. They still remember details of battles because they used Legos to recreate them
Have fun with narration. It is simply practicing what they have learned. It doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Simple, easy, and fun, while learning-what can be better?
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