Here are some 'do's and don'ts which may be helpful in planning a narration lesson:
Do always prepare the passage carefully beforehand, thus making sure that all the explanations and use of background material precede the reading and narration. The teacher should never have to stop in the middle of a paragraph to explain the meaning of a word. Make sure, before you start, that the meanings are known, and write all difficult proper names on the blackboard, leaving them there throughout the lesson. Similarly any map work which may be needed should be done before the reading starts.
Do regulate the length of the passage to be read before narration to the age of the children and the nature of the book. If you are reading a fairy story, you will find that the children will be able to remember a page or even two, if a single incident is described. With a more closely packed book, one or two paragraphs will be sufficient. Older children will, of course, be able to tackle longer passages before narrating, but here too, the same principles should be applied, that the length varies with the nature of the book.
Do let the narration follow directly after the reading...
Don't interrupt, even if the narrator makes a mistake or mispronounces a word...
Don't read a passage more than once, no matter how badly it has been narrated. It is permissible to ask, e.g., 'Don't you remember the bit about the horses?' If the children say 'No' the proper response is: 'What a pity! Now you will never know that bit. You must listen better next time.' The children will miss something, but they will have learnt a lesson in concentration.
Do always correct any mistakes after the narration, or better, get the other children to correct them.
E.K.Manders of Miss Mason's PNEU
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