Each week at Classical Conversations, Foundations students give a presentation to their class.
Presentations don't have to be exceptional or fancy or formal; It's mainly about getting students used to speaking in public. Presentations can be as simple as show-and-tell with a favorite stuffed animal.
Actually, that's one of my daughter's favorite things to present on, her favorite stuffed animal. But I usually only let her do that once a year, so she has to choose which stuffed animal she is going to present upon, and that's a tough choice for her.
Another of my daughter's favorite presentations is hiding something in a small, brown, paper bag and giving the class opportunities to guess what is inside.
But even though presentations don't have to be too complicated or involved, we usually try to turn presentations into enrichment opportunities.
We usually make plans about presentation the day right after community.
That way, my daughter has an entire week to prep or plan or practice, and she can do something a little more involved like reciting a poem or a passage of Scripture from memory.
Deciding a full week ahead also means we don't have to think about it again and again and debate it and stress over it, because it has already been settled on.
My daughter usually incorporates a little bit of leisurely presentation prep and/ or practice every single day of the week as a fun part of her homeschool day.
So far, this year, she has presented on the following topics:
Her summer vacation (Specifically, she talked about our trip to take her big sister to college. She wore a college t-shirt and took in some photos.)
Our sea bean collection (She passed around a handful of her favorite sea beans and recited interesting facts about them from note cards.)
Narration of a fairy tale (She's reading through Arabian Nights in her silent reading time, and she often narrates what she reads to me at home. But, for presentation, she chose a favorite tale to narrate, learned it by heart, and drew an illustration to go with it. See the picture shown above.)
How to play chess (She brought in pieces from our chess set and explained how they move, how to play, and how to win the game, etc.)
Recitation of the poem She recited "Opportunity" by Edward Roland Sill from memory. By practicing the poem a few times everyday for a week, she knew it by heart in one week's time. (This is a poem I know by heart, and it's a favorite. She brought in a small, plastic sword for a prop, so that added an element of performance and drama.)
History Topic- She did some research and presented on a history topic from the history cycle we are on in Foundations this year, The Middle Ages. Specifically, she presented on Joan of Arc.
Science Topic- She did some basic reading and research on various carnivores, which is related to one of the Science facts this year. Using flash cards, she told the class about a few carnivores on land, in the water, and in the sky.
History Topic, Again- She did research on Leonardo DaVinci, prepared facts on a note card, and drew a visual to go along with it.
How to- Students often show how to do something for their presentation. In my daughter's case, she demonstrated how to do a graphite transfer, a drawing technique she learned in her online art class. She printed out small pictures and provided the supplies so that her classmates could do a graphite transfer themselves in the time given.
Show and Tell- She will show all the art projects she has done for her online art class, explaining what story the projects were based upon, what techniques they used, and what medium they were done in.
Again, it isn't necessary to do anything so formal for students to have successful presentation in Foundations. And some weeks, we can't do any planning or prep, so we just choose something really simple and fun and she gets up there and does her best without any extra practice.
But presentations can really enrich our homeschool experience, because we usually do make an extra effort to plan and make them special and spend a little time everyday on preparation and practice as part of our regular homeschool work.