Another way to narrate…

The Bath house of Mohenjo Daro

Charlotte Mason teaches that a child should tell what he has learned after reading a book. This narration is meant to be done in his own words, rather than in the Classical style’s question and answer format. We use both methods in our homeschool.

Sometimes it is hard to get my little boys to narrate to me. The idea is that they would tell about the things that they felt were interesting or important, but sometimes they get self-conscious and don’t know where to start or what they should say.

 Enter the Hands-On Narration Activity.

This is a re-creation of the ancient Indus Valley city Mohenjo Daro, within its city walls.  I couldn’t tell you at this moment what each lego represented, but he certainly could! And that’s the point…

If I ask my boys to “set up a scene” depicting what they learned, they are overjoyed and race off to comply. When they tell me about their scenes, I find out quickly how very well they have been listening. No detail is too minute to share, as they have been careful to incorporate everything they remember into their scene.

Here, they used blocks and plastic dogs and cats to set up a scene from our reading about the Mayans.

They love these opportunities, and I love seeing their creativity and hearing them tell me in detail about what they have learned.

Everyone wants in on the action!


  1. Molly, this is a fabulous idea. I will do this with Wilbur.
    I have used dramatic play, puppetry and drawing for retell but never thought of letting him build which would be right up his alley.
    I may post something about using dramatic play and art later and link back to this post if you don’t mind.

  2. What a great idea! I’ll be passing this on to some lego-loving, block-building children’s Moms that I homeschool with. Blessings!

  3. Great idea! My daughter loves legos and sometimes just doesn’t want to do a written narration, this would be a great alternative.

  4. Fantastic way to keep the boys’ enthusiasm!