Ambleside Online suggests starting written narration in Grade 4. The suggestion is to start with one written narration a week and increase the amount of weekly narrations over the next couple of years.
As this is Delightful’s Grade 4 year, I decided to start written narration with her even though she is only 8. This is due to the fact that she is proficient in oral narrations and doesn’t want to just do copywork every day. At the same time, however, she isn’t a huge fan of writing and needs to ease into the process slowly.
Here are some samples of how Delightful, 8, has progressed with written narration over this past year (originals reproduced as closely as possible):
Sample 1 – August 24, 2015, based on Hero of Faith – Katharina Von Bora:
Katie said goodbye and they were off.
Sample 2 – September 10, 2015, based on Tree in the Trail:
The Cottenwood grew, and birds nested seventy feet abov the pond. Owls nested in a hollow burnt by lightning. Growing wood had long since covered the iron arrowpionts. The Cottenwood was now a 100 years old.
Sample 3 – October 7, 2015, based on The Burgess Seashore Book for Children (done in cursive):
When low tide came Jimmy and Reddy always whent to the shore to try to find somthing to eat. One day when they were doing just this, Graywing came just as Jimmy was looking at a fish in disgust. “What is that?” asked Jimmy. “That,” said Graywing, that is a common skate. “A what?” asked Jimmy. “A common skate,” Said Graywing. “Why not look for his egg?” asked Graywing. “All right,” said Jimmy.
Sample 4 – November 2015, based on Classic Myths to Read Aloud:
The Riddle of the Sphinx
Once upon a time, the king and queen of Thebes, Laius and Jocasta, had a son, and they took him to the oracle at Delphi (Del-phee). A priest said that one day their son would kill Laius and marry Jocasta. So Laius called a servant to take the child and kill him. The servant could not bear to kill the boy so he tied him from his ankles to a tree and left. Then a shepard came along and took him down. He had been atraccted to the boy’s crys. This shepard now brought this child to the king and queen of Corinth. The king and queen were delighted and named him Oedipus (ed-e-pus). The queen whose name was Merope, took him to a moutain and said to him, “Son, one day all this land will be yours. You must reign it well.” So Oedipus wen to the Oracle at Delphi. He then found or thought that he would kill the king of Corinth, and marry Merope. He set off at once to try to escape his fate. On the way he met Laius and dashed his head. Then, he went to Thebes and found that a Sphinx was guarding one of the main entrances. Oedipus then said “I will go and try to defeat this famous Sphinx.” But the people said, “If you defeat it you will be king. But listen, if you cannot defeat it you will be eaten!” So Oedipus went to the Sphinx and it said, “Ahhh another dainty morsel! Come, and I shall tell you my riddle. What walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 3 in the evening?” Oedipus thought for a moment and then said, “Alas! It must be a man! As a baby a man crawls, as a man on two legs beacause he is strong, and when he is old supports himself with a cane.” Then the Sphinx cried “Alas! I am done!” So the Sphinx dashed itself to bits on some rocks. Then Oedipus went back and was crowned king. He also then married Jocasta. Then, they had three children, two girls and a boy. One of the girls and the boys name I do not know but the youngest girls name was Anigone (An-tig-on-e). Then it was found that Oedipus accidentily killed the king and now had to go to the forest of Furies. Antigone went with him until he went in.
Sample 5 – December 9, 2015, based on The Wise Goat and the Wolf as told in English Lessons Through Literature 3 (some of this was dictated to me as I wrote and Delightful watched):
The Wise Goat and the Wolf
Once upon a time, there was a herd of goats living in a hill. One day, the wolves ate all of the goats, except for one who was wiser than all the others.
One day, a wolf said to his mate, “Let us play a trick on that wise goat.” So they played a trick on the goat. This was what the trick was:
The boy wolf lay down on the ground and pretended to be dead. Then, his mate went to the goat and said, “Look. See my mate is dead. I have no more friends. Come with me and bury him.”
Then the goat said, “I will not come with you because I think you are trying to play a trick on me.”
“What harm can a dead wolf be?” asked the wolf.
“I suppose you are right,” said the goat.
So they went down and soon the goat said, “I think you should go in front.” So they switched places and almost as soon as they did this the boy wolf lifted his head and the goat ran back home. After that his wife scolded him and said they should try again.
So this time they invited her to a tea-party.
The goat said, “oh yes yes i shall be glad to go but i shall bring three friends.”
“W-what are the friends” asked the wolf timidly.
“Oh, they are Old Gray, and Young Tan, and Four Eyes with their mates.”
And the wolf was gone like lightning.