>Developing Oral Presentation (Speaking) & Active Listening Skills

>From “Show & Tell” to “Teach & Tell”
Developing Oral Presentation (Speaking) & Active Listening Skills

OK … I have to admit it:
As a Grade One teacher I was never a huge fan of “Show & Tell” … but the kids loved it(!) and I understood the benefits. Show and Tell offers students an opportunity to develop speaking and active listening skills. It provides a glimpse into their lives: the people and the things they love, the places they’ve been and the experiences they’ve had. Finally, it gives them a chance to shine(!): All eyes are on them!

Now, opportunities to develop formal public speaking and active listening skills should be sought after, recognized and embraced. Having said that, once I made the move to Grade Five I began to look for authentic activities that address and develop speaking and active listening skills.

… So one night I was over at a friend’s house for dinner. We were enjoying a glass of wine in her kitchen when I noticed a letter from her son’s classroom teacher on the fridge door. I read the letter …. and good thing I did! For right then and there my search was over! I had discovered the “Teach and Tell”.
“Teach and Tell” puts a new spin on “Show and Tell”, and it’s suitable for my Grade Five students.
Instead of “showing” something to their classmates, students are asked to “teach” the class about something that they love, are really interested in, want to learn more about, or do well. They are the teachers! Students must also create some sort of visual aid to enhance learning: a poster, a model, etc.

This activity encourages students to make organized, engaging oral presentations, while developing effective speaking and listening skills. Teach and Tell is also a great way to increase class interconnectedness as students learn important things about one another’s interests and skills.

Some of the most memorable presentations last year were “How Do Birds Fly?”, “How Magnets Work”, “No Bullies!”, “Global Warming”, “How to Make The Best Banana-Strawberry Smoothie Ever!”, “Australia”, “How to Add and Subtract Using an Abacus”,  “My Hero”,  “Sudoku Puzzles”, “Craig Kielburger’s Free The Children”,  and “The History of Ice Cream”. 

Students have a tremendous amount of knowledge and many outside interests to share. “Teach and Tell” gives them an opportunity to be successful academically using something they love to do and do well.

If you were a fly in my classroom wall you would see students delivering one Teach & Tell presentation per term. These presentations are engaging, entertaining, often hands-on, and provide yet one more opportunity to devlop effective speaking and listening skills.


A Few Additional Notes:
1) Skills Development: Speaking & Active Listening Skills:

(A) Speaking:
-prepare – research, rehearse, review
-focus – focus on the message and your audience
-organization – sequencing & timing
-pace, tone & volume
-gestures – not to be be over or under done
-aside: incorporate interesting and appropriate visual aids that enhance the presentation

(B) Active listening skills include:
-facing the speaker and giving him/her full attention
-listening optimistically – project interest, keep an open mind
-listening with (and not ahead of) the speaker
-stay involved – ask for clarification only when appropriate, ask interesting and engaging questions

2) Four Public Speaking Rubrics:


4 responses to “>Developing Oral Presentation (Speaking) & Active Listening Skills

  1. >Hi! I am Rachster. I am from Australia.I have been doind Show & Tells sice reception and I am in grade 6 now! I loved it. We also did Teach & Tells. Right now were are also doing Oral Presentations! It was free choice, the subject so I chose Orangutans.It was great seeing your blog. I love the "Fly On The Wall". If you want you can visit my blog too.http://rachster.edublogs.orgRachster 😀 😉 😀

  2. >I love the idea of teach and tell! I have first graders, but I wonder what would happen if I allowed them to come up with something to teach us. In the past, I have always skirted around the show and tell issue by using a take home stuffed animal that they would journal with. The child who brought home the stuffed anumal the night before would get to share the next morning.

  3. >Hi Minnesota!Love the idea of the stuffed animal going home … I used to do that when I taught Grade One as well. … but then "lice" etc. came "around" and I stopped ;-)I would also send home a Science Suitcase & a Writing Suitcase. Each child had a turn to take the suitcase home and then share the following day. It was fun!Why not try Teach & Tell with your kids second or third term. I bet they'd be great!!!!!Have a wonderful weekend.Cheers,Ally

  4. >Hi Rachster,Thank you for writing!I give my students "free choice" as well when it comes to their presentations. I bet yours was great!I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and are excited about the new school school year.All the best,Ally PS I had a quick look at your blog and it is great! Congratulations!

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