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