Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Show and Tell
Kids want to talk about what is important to them. When given the right opportunity they will pull out their treasures and invite others to join them in a world of innocence and play. For that reason we have incorporated Show and Tell into our homeschool. Show and Tell is fun, but it is also a terrific tool to help children overcome the fear of standing in front of people.
Some children struggle with the fear of public speaking while others embrace it with both arms. We have children in both camps. Our introductory Show and Tell confirmed this and was a bit like the Sesame Street piece “One of these kids is doing his own thing...”
The children prepared for their exposition by choosing a few items to share and drawing a number to determine who would go first. As I observed the goods that each child carried down the stairs from his or her room I noticed a theme. Three children were laden with blankets which cradled precious stuffed animals while one child held an assortment of papers, pens, books and buttons.
This third child, my eccentric five-year-old daughter, was adamant about going last insisting that her Show and Tell would be the longest. Little did we know the great truth harbored in her statement. To her dismay she drew the number two spot. Still my nine-year-old son went first providing a proper and well-ordered accounting of each of his stuffed animals, listing their names and explaining what he liked about each one. He received a warm round of applause and took his seat. The five-year-old was up next.
She began by passing out note cards and pencils to each participant. Apparently this was going to be an interactive Show and Tell. “Everybody draw a picture or write a story about a Bible story,” she instructed. To my surprise the three other children obeyed dutifully, as did I. Meanwhile our little instructor pulled out unrelated items and proceeded to describe each in great detail. These items included but were not limited to buttons, books, and a balloon you might use as a belt – or so we were told!
Impatiently, the nine-year-old asked, “What is your Show and Tell about?” “It’s about Jesus,” she chirped matter-of-factly. As if this answer should suffice, the kindergartener continued unruffled, “Now who wants to read The Ten Commandments?” My seven-year-old’s hand shot up. I sat in wonder, but before the young volunteer reached the third commandment, our fearless leader interrupted, “Who wants me to shoot a rubber band at them?” This time two more hands shot up; it was of course the boys.
Shortly after the rubber band war, the platform princess handed me a Bible and advised, “Mommy, it’s your turn to read a Bible verse.” “Which one do you want me to read,” I asked. “You choose, I can’t read,” she said. “Anybody want a sticker?” she followed.
Before the young audience could weary of her theatrics my darling diva wrapped up the show by asking who wanted to be first to share the Bible story they had written on their note card. One by one each storyteller stood to reveal the small piece of history he or she had recorded.
It was a hard act to follow, and it really was more of a Show than a Tell, but it was beautiful. It was lengthy, and it was the most unique display I had ever been a part of. However, next time I will be careful to limit each of the children to one item, and I will make sure that our long-winded, little, ladybug labors over her litany last.