I previously posted about a book called Know and Tell: The Art of Narration by Karen Glass. If you are a teacher, homeschool parent, or are interested in helping your children develop oral fluency, I highly recommend this book.
I’ve written about the instructional benefits of narration, but I also see some great spiritual benefits of this practice, particularly applied to the Bible and rich Christian literature.
Narration is an excellent tool for family worship. Reading a passage of Scripture and asking your children “what happened?” is an excellent way to help them hide God’s Word in their heart. It enables them to participate not only in building listening skills, but in learning to explain and apply the Scripture.
Narration is an excellent way to move into private and family prayer. Narrating the content of a Bible passage is a natural bridge to beginning to address God based on God’s revelation of himself and the promises that he makes in the passage. If one does not know what to pray, or how to pray, or what to pray for in a particular instance, or just has one of those days when it seems that prayer is simply reading a prayer list, this may be a way to break through to “praying in the Spirit.”
Narration is an excellent way to prepare to teach. This may be more like what Mrs. Glass calls “silent narration,” when one reads a portion of a text and rehearses the content, but not aloud. I do alot of his in my sermon and teaching preparation. Often, the notes that I take while I’m studying are not an outline of the content, but a retelling and a description of connections that I make from the text to other Scriptures and other writings. To be able teach well, one must have something to say and be able to say it well.
Mrs. Glass cautions that it takes time to develop narration skills, and that we must be patient with those whom we teach. She also tells us that unless one is a “natural narrator,” that this will not be a student’s favorite practice. But the benefits are rich, and the time and effort devoted to narration will yield many benefits.