kids and creativity

Show and Tell – What’s a Kid to Bring? February 23, 2006

Filed under: All Ages,JK-G6+,Mundane Life,Pre-school,The Truth — Dayna @ 10:31 pm

In this day and age of up and out doing it seems that Mad is constantly in search of something to bring for show and tell.

Apparently she’s been told a couple of times that what she’s offering up is unworthy of showing. Naturally this is heart breaking for her and although I can slightly see a bit of her teacher’s point when he commented that “suitable items” are only up for discussion. But who really is the judge of this stuff? I can understand that found rocks, twigs and other grabbed paraphernalia gathered along the walk to school may become tedious when you have a number of 3-4 year olds catching on but doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

What is show and tell really for? I always thought that is was nerve wracking to have to get up and talk… about anything, so to have my kid be discouraged from public speaking just because whatever book, or rock she’s brought is considered boring or unsuitable is disappointing.

I think that it’s magical that Mad not only what’s to share with others but that she’s willing and brave enough to do it.

Every book, rock and toy all have their story, it’s just up to us to listen.

The best I’ve seen and had to offer for suggestions at Show and Tell is what ever a child is interested in at the moment. What ever it is, even a child is sure to have a reason – even if they need a bit of prodding. Occasionally Mad finds money, where did she find it? Is it lucky? This past week we’ve found a cicada and a monarch butterfly, practically just outside our door, that’s pretty interesting but it was up to me to share with her what I knew about these particular insects so she could pass along what interesting tidbits stuck with her.

I don’t think it’s the show that’s as important as the tell. It’s about sharing and public speaking. It’s about encouraging our children out of the self conscious shadows that we as adults hang up. All this pressure about what to bring was even getting to me until I realized it was a excellent way to strike up a conversation with my daughter, and let me tell you, it is incredibly fascinating what you can learn from a child, if you only just listen.


2 Responses to “Show and Tell – What’s a Kid to Bring?”

  1. me Says:

    I can not believe a teacher did that! Well, maybe the teacher is trying to have the students have a well-thought-out show and tell and not an “I-forgot-to-do-it-so-I-will-grab-something-on-the-way” item. Well, the question is, what is more important- teaching responsibility for HW planning or supporting the child’s communication skills. I think you let the child speak and if he/she consistently brings a rock and consistently says, “I found this on the way to school b/c I forgot until this morning” then the teacher can pull the child aside privately and talk about new ideas for S+T. If not, listen! Like you said, there could be more to a rock. maybe it was the rock that a Jewish child wants to leave on a grandparent’s grave. maybe it is a rock from a vacation that he/she went on. Or maybe it is just a rock that he/she found on the way to school, but the idea is to talk, so the teacher can ask the child about the walk to school or why that rock rather than another or how the dirt felt or how the weather was etc, etc. Idea is to get kids talking…not to come up with a speech such as the President would give (though even his lacks something). Maybe BO was criticized for his S+T items and that is why he says “UM” so much now! In any case, hang in there. If it continues, write a note about the rock or twig to help prompt the teacher for questions to ask and to validate the S+T item. If the teacher keeps judging w/o letting kids speak and it is private school, consider moving her to another school. Good luck!

  2. savvanah Says:

    You’re pretty much right. As for many children, they have to build up their confidence for public speaking, especially the shy ones. But, if the particular thing which a person has shown might not be special but teachers should not weaken them. There are many who think show and tell is based on something which is interesting, but yeah, children can bring a plain old rock and tell what’s good about it and how he or she found it.

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