Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Narration of Dot and the Kangaroo

Joshua gave the following narration of Dot and the Kangaroo by Ethel Pedley this morning:

Dot went into a forest. A kangaroo met her and then bounded away and got some berries. And Dot ate them.
She said, “thanks, could I please have some water?”
“Yes,” said the kangaroo, “but the nearest water hole is a long way off so we’d better get started.”
Dot began to get tired. “I wonder why you humans are made so badly,” said the kangaroo. “Get into my pouch. Okay, we’re off.”
Two birds were frightened. They said, “we’re so thirsty!” And they sang a song. They cried. Then they said to the kangaroo, “could you please go a little bit closer?”
She said, “of course” and went a little bit closer and said, “I think you’re safe now.” And a lot of animals came and Dot came and drank from the water.
Then Dot lifted up the kangaroo’s ear and asked, “can we go somewhere else for the night?"
And the kangaroo said “oh, anywhere you like my dear.”
Dot and the kangaroo went to the platypus and Dot said, “I know the Willy Wagtail.”
And the platypus said, “you must go to the Willy Wagtail, he will know your way.”
There was a man who was pretending to be a kangaroo and he chased them. There was a big rock they had to bound over. The dogs went under it in a different way.
The two birds met them and they said, “would you like me to do a call?”
“Yes, please,” she said and it sounded so loud that it sounded like a bunyip and frightened them away.
They found Willy Wagtail. Willy Wagtail sang a beautiful song to them and he said, “humans are nice to me so I’m nice to them.” And he said, “this place is near your home and you can go there.”
So they found Dot’s way and they went home. The people (when Dot came home) were so happy and the kangaroo got her joey back. The end.

It was quite a struggle getting him to be concise in his narration. At first, he wanted to narrate every single thing anyone said. Actually, that's pretty much what he did for the entire narration, now that I think about it. However, he was able to select passages of import to the story line, with my help, and so he did not feel the need to narrate every single episode of the entire book (thank goodness - it's 109 pages long).

I recently stumbled upon this article by Susan Wise Bauer (co-author of The Well-Trained Mind): Tips for Narration. She explains a method for building up narration skills by starting with very short passages and moving to longer ones once the child has demonstrated their capabilities. I think I will try this with the kids' science/geography narrations.


Ruth said...

Wonderful narration! Well done Joshua :-)

Ruth xx

mom24 said...

Funny - I recently printed out the same article from WTM. Jason does the same thing and I wasn't sure how to encourage him to pick out major parts instead of just everything that he could possibly remember. We will try this too!


Ps. Glad to finaly have some time to get to your posts!