Show-and-tell (all)


Anyone who knows me, will be aware that I love a good chat. In fact, barely a year went by where my school report didn’t saying something along the lines of “Katrina would achieve more if she talked less and concentrated more”.*

Needless to say, show-and-tell was the highlight of my day – talking about whatever I wanted and a captive audience. Alas, I was one of those painful show-and-tell dominators – I should have taken the hint when my prep teacher put in a roster system (reducing my daily ‘share’ with the class to a weekly gig) and furthermore when a time-limit was imposed (apparently ten minutes demonstrating my Speak & Spell was nine minutes too many).

I was recently reminded about the etiquette of show-and-tell when a friend reported that during her session helping out in her grade one son’s classroom, she got to listen to show-and-tell. Which included a kid bringing in pictures of his sibling being born. Do six-year-old’s know the meaning of ‘over-share’? Probably not. Did said child’s mother know that she was front and centre at show-and-tell? Probably not. Then there was this story about a kid who brought a fossil to school (I think he wins show-and-tell).

So I did a little playground vox-pop and asked “What was the funniest/ most horrifying thing you remember being shared at show-and-tell?” Here are some of the responses (feel free to add your own in the comments section) –

  • a kid brought in a huge, filthy yellow toenail in a matchbox and said that his dad was cutting his nails the night before and he saved the clipping from the big toe because it was “…the biggest nail he’d ever seen.”
  • a potato that had grown so spectacularly crazy (in a dark cupboard for a few months) that it looked like an alien life form.
  • a lamb (yes, a real lamb). If that wasn’t impressive enough, the accompanying narrative included the fact that the lamb “…liked to sniff up mum’s nightie…”.
  • the kid who told everyone that his uncle owned** a game-watch factory (it was the eighties) and that anyone who wanted Parachute should see him at lunchtime.

Show-and-tell is an important first step in public speaking and is run in various ways at KPS. Some teachers have a theme for each week, some have a roster and some have an ‘all about me’ box which rotates through the class (and keeps kids on topic when it’s their turn to share). Regardless of how it’s done, show-and-tell is a great opportunity for kids to share something they’re interested in, develop communication skills and enjoy a captive audience (if only for a few minutes!).

* I was concentrating but I was also talking. Multi-tasking, peoples!
** Not surprisingly, this was a lie.


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