30 Narration Ideas

Narration, the act of telling back, has long been used by educators to:

  • Find out how much a student knows about a subject.
  • Encourage a student to interact with what he has read, rather than to read passively.
  • Encourage a student to dig for information, or to learn on his own.

There are many different forms narration can take — everything from the informal burst that naturally pours forth from a child interested in his subject to a more formal oral dissertation.

Here are 30 narration ideas:

We have deliberately left them very open-ended so that they can be used in a multitude of ways for a variety of purposes.

  1. Tell what you have read.
  2. Describe a character.
  3. Describe the setting.
  4. Write a summary.
  5. Write a description.
  6. Compare and contrast.
  7. Ask five questions about what you have read.
  8. Draw an illustration.
  9. Create a graphic organizer.
  10. Make a list.
  11. Explain.
  12. Give an example.
  13. Think of another.
  14. Prepare an outline.
  15. Write a biography.
  16. Write a how-to essay.
  17. Write a similar short story.
  18. Evaluate (the writing, the point of view, the decisions of a main character, etc.).
  19. Design a brochure.
  20. Create a poem.
  21. Make a flip book.
  22. Develop a timeline.
  23. Create a poster or banner illustrating a motto.
  24. Make a character trading card (interactive at ReadWriteThink.org).
  25. Design a model.
  26. Dramatize.
  27. Make a prediction.
  28. Create a storyboard or cartoon.
  29. List character traits.
  30. Write a book review.

Bonus (and this one is for us):

Listen.  Many times, we will find a child very willing to narrate — he may even have more to say than we will have time to listen to!

Additional Resources
Language Arts the Natural Way: Narrating

Language Arts the Natural Way: Narrating
You’ll find more on the benefits of narration, along with how-tos, resources, and tips in our Language Arts the Natural Way series.

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