Since the last one was short, I thought I’d give you another example of a written narration from my 10th grader. What I liked in this one is that he refers to a character from a read-aloud we are doing (that’s the “Lady Ashton”). I also like that he adds a personal tone by giving his own conclusions and opinions. What I don’t like is that he says “had went.” I hope he knows better than that; I know he doesn’t talk that way. I’ll try to give samples from my other kids in the near future too so you can compare how narrations look at different ages. One last note before I give you the narration: this child mentioned recently that he reads differently when he knows he has to narrate. I am not sure quite what that means but I think it is what we are looking for here. I will say that even accounting for age he is by far my best narrator. It is amazing to me what he can remember even from long passages. Though this narration is long, his oral ones can be even longer and more detailed.
Here then is the narration:
John Brown’s friends who helped him at Harper’s Ferry were rounded up and brought on trial. Four of them were tried together. Two of them had no clue what was going to happen after they got the guns. All four were sentenced to death. Another man who had taken serious injuries had to wait before he was tried. He was also hanged. There was another man who managed to get away from the police for a while, but he was arrested and tried and he was hanged on the same day as the sick man. But if my numbers are correct, two managed to run away and somehow make it to safety.
John Brown has some rich friends who had helped him get guns back in Massachusetts and were mentioned in a lot of John Brown’s letters. When they realized Brown had left their letters to him lying around, most of them desired to run. One went crazy, but he was fine in the end. Another one gave his full support to John Brown’s ideas, from the safety of Italy. He had went there on medical vacation, similar to the vacation Lady Ashton wants to go on. He decided he would give Brown his full support, but he wanted to stay in Italy. Three of them ran into Canada, but they were informed that they would not be prosecuted they decided they could go home. One of them hung out in Canada for a little bit longer than the other ones, just to be safe. Another one went to England and stayed there for two years before he thought it was safe. And then there was the man who went about his normal business and thought all the other guys were wimps for leaving.
Many legends have come about because of John Brown’s death. A bunch of southerners did not want Brown to be killed because of what it would do to the press. Some northerners want John Brown to be killed because they realized John Brown knew how to work the press. So, the southerners shouldn’t have killed him and they obviously couldn’t have let him go, so they should have put him in some absurdly remote dungeon for the rest of his life where he couldn’t write books or anything.
Many people became fired up by Brown’s death. He did not end slavery like he wanted to but he cut away some of the roots of the tree of slavery.
Until next time