Learn more about the art of narration! This post covers re-enactment as an example of narration, using a paper mache map & Play Mobil figures. This is a perfect way for a child who hates writing to express their understanding of a given topic.
What is Narration?
Narration, in its most basic form, tells a story or explains something. It is an essential element of all kinds of writing and an excellent skill to acquire. Narration can be both spoken or written and it has been around for centuries, with Aristotle calling it prothesis. The narrator is the one giving the narration. The narrative is the story being recounted. And the point of view is the perspective from which the story is be narrated.
Re-enactment as an Example of Narration
You can do a re-enactment in many different ways. We have used reader’s theatre, acted out a play, dressed up and given a presentation and using props such as the map below:
We made the above papier mache map, not to scale (measuring about 3 meters by 2 meters) whilst we were studying the Anglo-Saxons (see here for how). However, I knew we would be using it for the Vikings, Middle Ages and very possibly beyond. It was, therefore, a good investment in terms of time and effort (it cost very little in money!).
Moreover, it was perfect for this simple narration activity of a re-enactment.
Using a Map as an Example of Narration
When we learnt about the Battle of Hastings we used the map as a tool for visually narrating the events leading up to 1066. I collected a pile of knights in two different colours, some horses, boats and labels of all the areas we would be covering. The children lay the map on the table. I asked one child to narrate what happened after Harold was crowned the new King of England. The other two had to then arrange all the props to show this pictorally. They took it in turns narrating one scene at a time.
Narrations of the Events Leading up to the Battle of Hastings
Making Notepages with Re-enactment and Narration
Because I like to record the children’s learning in the form of notepages, I took photos of the re-enactment to create some with. Next, I pasted the photos into a document and then I typed the narration underneath. Lastly, I photocopied it enough times so that each child could have their own copy:
All in all, a very effective way of narrating quite complex history!