Many adults have fond memories of their elementary Show and Tell experiences. Most of us can vividly recall choosing an object from home of some significance to us, bringing it to school to show our classmates, and explaining in front of the class why it was so special. Though Show and Tell can be stressful for shy students, this simple activity is an excellent way to teach children basic skills of public speaking, and it gives teachers and peers insight into an aspect of a child’s life that they’d otherwise not have.
Now imagine that for Show and Tell one day one student forgets to bring his object. When it’s his turn, he can do his best to explain what his possession looks like, how he uses it, and why it is so special to him; but his explanation would probably be easier to understand if he actually had the item with him. Why? Because Show and Tell is a two-part exercise, and showing is always better than just telling.
Many people are visual learners who process and retain information much more effectively when they can see some representation of it; so for teachers, the underlying concept of Show and Tell is especially relevant. We must remember that teaching and telling are not synonymous. We sometimes fall into the rut of working through lists and giving notes—necessary parts of teaching, yes—but without actually demonstrating to our students what it is they’re supposed to be learning. We forget about the show part of Show and Tell.
For children, Show and Tell is a way to share a part of themselves with classmates and teachers, and sometimes an opportunity to show off their belongings. For teachers, Show and Tell is a way of life, because teaching is not just telling.
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Mrs. Lauren Morris is a graduate of North Valley Baptist Schools and Golden State Baptist College. She is an integral faculty member of her college alma mater and is responsible for training the next generation in the subjects of English, education, and music. Mrs. Morris is also heavily involved in the music ministry of North Valley Baptist Church and has been faithfully serving on staff for many years.