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Show & Tell - an old learning trick

by Kim Jaworski, Homeschool Resource Specialist


When a child explains a concept to someone else, the learning happens in both directions. The child’s knowledge is reinforced and strengthened, and the observer learns, too.  So it’s well worth your time to have an older child explain concepts to a younger one. Or implement old fashioned “Show & Tell”.

Each child prepares a demonstration on a topic they are learning about (with visual aids) and then have a demonstration day. You can do this just among the family, or with your homeschool group. Even really young kids can join in.

If you only have one child working on this, use a video camera to create a mock audience. It can be shown to grandparents, aunts, uncles or even emailed to relatives far away! Not only will the skill being demonstrated be reinforced, but you’re also developing those public speaking skills.

Here are some examples. Choose according to age-appropriateness and interest level. Maybe start with something straight forward and move on to more complicated topics. These can even be like an oral book report. Choose something that goes along with a topic your child is studying. Talk about how to make the presentation clear to someone who hasn’t been studying this topic. Be sure to explain any specialized vocabulary, show diagrams with the parts labeled, and at the end be sure to ask if there are any questions about the presented material. These questions will help you identify areas that need better explanation or a better visual aid. Visual aids can be made on poster board/foam core board or something smaller that is passed around for the audience to look at more closely (like rock samples).

How to fold paper airplanes

The different kinds of rocks

How to care for a pet hamster (or whatever pet you have)

How to draw a cartoon cat

How to operate the camera on your smart phone

How to make a healthy snack

How to solve a long division problem

What happens when you combine vinegar and baking soda?

How to carve a boat from a cucumber

How to build a teepee

How your toaster works

How beavers build dams

How rain clouds form

How erosion happens

How flowers grow

The importance of bees

What are ‘blood types’?

How volcanoes form

Folding an origami swan

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