Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lei Zu and the Silkworm

We've been studying ancient China this week, including farming, the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the Shang Dynasty, pictograms, and silk. Part of what Amirah does for history is to narrate back to me what we learned at a previous lesson. She's requiring fewer and fewer prompts to do the narrations. This time it was just questions like, "And then what happened?" and, before she dictated the last three sentences, "What was the point of her discovering the cocoon?" It's been fun to see her progression with this skill. Narration is a precursor to writing. It helps the student gather their thoughts in an orderly fashion without having the additional task of writing them down on paper which can really disrupt the flow when they're in the early stages of printing. So, here's her narration!

Lei Zu and the Silkworm

One day, Lei Zu was sitting under a mulberry tree. She ordered her maid to get her lunch underneath the mulberry tree. When she had some tea, a cocoon fell inside of her tea. She pulled it out and the cocoon started to unravel. She took the cocoon and went around the whole garden and unraveled it as she walked. She decided to weave it for her husband and make a robe. Her husband gasped because it was so shiny. Her husband said, "We will call it silk."


I really like doing these narrations. When papa comes home and asks Amirah, "What did you do today?" he rarely gets a grunted "I forget" or "I don't know." She gets lots of practice, mostly for history and composition, in recalling things in order and expressing them out loud. I see very clearly how good it is for student to gain a lot of skill in narration and printing separately before putting them together.

No comments: