Narration is the art of re-telling a story or facts of something that has just been read or studied. Narration is a dynamic tool to use in educating on a variety of subjects. Asking a child to recall information just learned has a way of cementing the details into young minds. It should not be underestimated.
We narrate just about anything that we are studying. When we study math, we narrate back math facts. When we are reading a story, the child narrates back the details of the story. In so doing, sequential events are remembered. The child recalls how one event led to another.
Once something is narrated, it is rarely forgotten. Or at least not forgotten for a long time! And it gives the child another opportunity to work out those verbal muscles. It is one more occasion to increase vocabulary and to practice public speaking skills. My young students are encouraged to use some of the same new vocabulary that they just learned. They learn what these new words mean by either deciphering it in context, or by looking it up in the dictionary. I suggest they use it in their narration to help them retain the meaning of the word and use it frequently where appropriate in daily speaking.
When narration is first started, it is awkward and slow. Narrations are generally short and sweet. Expectations for lengthy oratories at young ages should be non-existent. With practice they will get longer and longer and with greater detail. This is what you are striving towards, but it will not happen right away. Patience and consistency are the keys. After years of practice, you will be amazed at what your child will be able to recall.
As your child increases in age, (2nd -4th grade or so) some of these narrations can be written down by you and the child can copy them. Giving them writing practice as well as another chance to remember what they have just re-told you and learned. The next step logically goes towards the child doing some written narrations. These are good original writing practice and can be used for spelling and grammar correction. Written narrations should increase with the child’s abilities, but oral narrations should not be set aside altogether. They always have value not matter what the child’s age.