Saturday, August 20, 2011

Show and Tell

A few weeks back, the little one had a show and tell. Now, I am of the firm belief that a show and tell should not be mugged - or rote learnt. Then how to get the child to say what he is supposed to say flawlessly?

Here is what worked for me. I gave him the object - in this case a huge envelope look alike on a cardpaper with illustrated stamp, to and from address. And using the prop as a mnemonic, he had to say just a sentence or two on each point.

So,he started off from the letter, then came from the top left to bottom right - starting at the stamp, followed by to address and then the from address. It went off like a dream.

This was followed by something where he had to speak for a minute on the family. So, we got our points and asked him what would he like to talk on. His thought was a simple one. First about the family as a whole, then its components and what we like to do together.

In both the cases, using his thought process made us give him a script that he can never forget - because it is his thought converted into a script. Very often, we impose our script on the child with the result that the child has to stop his natural thought process and imbibe a newer one.

This is exactly the same thing that would have happened at our first speech or elocution. We would ask someone else to write - which is a reflection of their thought process - and we try to superimpose that on our own thought process. And in a situation that we are familiar with, our thought process gives in to the strain of remembering that is not its own. End result -we "forgot" our speech. Well, we forgot it because it was not ours in the first place!

I still have to figure out how to make it work if the show and tell is a longer one, but this will perhaps be the broad guideline! Be Natural!

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