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In previous posts, I talked about some of the life skills my children learn while traveling and how we use narration to evaluate what our children have learned. Today, I want to give you a glimpse into our travels and let you see how I use narration while traveling to enhance my children’s learning experiences.
Why should you use narration while traveling?
Simply put, narration is an excellent evaluation tool. You can discover what your child learned about the museum, historical site, or location you just visited. You can also learn what connections he made between the new experiences and the knowledge or experiences he already had. Additionally, narration helps your child solidify what he learned. Sometimes we even discover questions my children still have that we can explore in more detail when we return home.
How do we use narration while traveling?
We use narration in a variety of ways while on trips.
- I often require a narration after visiting a museum, historical site, botanical garden, or other site of interest. This may be a simple, “What did you learn today?” or a more involved discussion. (Examples are included below.)
- Sometimes, later in the trip I may ask my children about a site we visited earlier in the trip. I may ask for more detail since they have had an opportunity to reflect on what we learned or experienced. Or, I may ask them to compare the current site with the previous one.
- Because our trips are educational and count toward our required number of days of school, I also include questions on our term exams that relate to the places we visited on the trip.
A few tips for using narration while traveling
- I require narrations from all children who are six years old or older. If a younger child wants to narrate, I encourage and welcome her to do so, but I do not require it.
- Narration involves a lot of mental processes and can be mentally taxing. I keep in mind the ages of my children and the amount of oral versus written narrations they complete at home when determining appropriate narrations when we are traveling.
- Pack stamps, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, and a sketch pad to utilize drawings, postcards, and letters for narrations.
- Pick up postcards in the gift shop to send to friends and relatives. Allow your children to write a note about one thing they particularly liked about the visit.
- Or, make travel journals to record their narrations on the trip.
Narration Ideas for Traveling
Here are five narration ideas we use when traveling.
- Tell me what you remember about the site we just visited.
- Pretend to be a reporter and interview your sister as if she were an archeologist at the site. Optional: Record this with video or audio.
- What are (3-5) things you would write about in a news article about this location?
- Send a postcard to someone and tell them an interesting fact about this site.
- Sketch a map of the area you visited. (Do not expect a map drawn to scale. Rough placement of locations of interest are sufficient.)