Show and tell, or show and share, is usually the first opportunity young children have to stand up in front of a small group and speak. Whether this opportunity starts when they are in kindergarten or once they start primary school, it is a wonderful introduction to public speaking as they are often given the option of speaking about a topic they know well and are interested in. Speaking about something you love always makes you love it even more!
So when you are asked to help your child prepare a show and tell, remember the positive impact it can have on his or her confidence and communication skills!
There are many benefits of show and tell for children, but here are a few:
Practising public speaking will build confidence in most people. Show and tell is the perfect place to start – speaking about something you know and are interested in, and allowing confidence to develop in a safe and familiar environment. Practising public speaking regularly usually means it begins to feel easier as you get older. Children will also become more comfortable contributing in class and asking questions.
Awareness and Gratitude
The process of preparing a show and tell, encourages children to consider the importance of a special item and appreciate its significance in different ways. Preparing a show and tell about a holiday or an old family war medal for example, allows them to form an opinion and think about how it makes them feel.
Pride and Self Esteem
Researching a topic they are interested in, thinking creatively and expressing their ideas during their talk, allows children to develop a sense of pride which boosts self esteem. Being at the centre of the class’s attention and experiencing the class listening to them speak about something important to them, will help to build their confidence.
Oral Language Skills and Communication
Speaking in front of a group is an effective activity to encourage the use of descriptive language and develops a child’s ability to retell stories – in turn leading to improved communication skills which are important throughout their lives. They also develop the ability to answer questions well.
Active Listening Skills
Being part of a show and tell audience is also an important part of learning. The audience learns to sit still and listen closely to someone other than their teacher, and to be be respectful. From this listening they can learn to consider their own ideas, think of questions about the topic and raise their hand to ask their question in a well mannered way. This is something not all children feel comfortable doing but given enough opportunity, will learn that all questions are good questions and nothing bad happens if you ask a question or share your ideas.
Show and tell can also act as an ice breaker and help children connect with their peers in new ways. For example, during a show and tell children may learn new things about each other and may chat at break time if they have discovered they have been to the same place on holiday or played the same sport.
In Speech and Drama classes, children find themselves in a safe and welcoming environment where they can work on these skills in more depth. Our teachers are always available to help our students prepare a speech they have to present outside of class, from these early show and tell activities through to persuasive speaking for older children.
Stay tuned for our next blog post on tips for choosing a topic!