Show and Tell in the Classroom: Make a Routine for a Successful Show and Tell

Plan a Successful Show and Tell

In any part of a teacher’s curriculum, lesson planning is crucial. The same is true of planning for show and tell. It is true that some teachers who still do show and tell treat it as a fun time for children to show toys and as if it is a nice thing to do for the children. Students get their show and tell object, talk briefly about it, have no question and answer time and are rushed off to put the object away. If show and tell is to meet the standards as outlined in the last article, then careful planning in making it a successful learning experience is required.

A Useful Learning Experience with Show and Tell

Make a rotating schedule so that each student has enough time to share (at least ten minutes). This may mean that only two or three students have a chance to do show and tell at a time. You may want to consider one day of the week or the month to hold show and tell, either way, create a rotating schedule.

Model to the students how show and tell is conducted. Bring in an object of value to you. Introduce yourself and tell what you have brought. Tell the story behind the object using adjectives to describe the object as you do. Ask if there are any questions (encourage inquiry based questions and personal or community connections). Have the class thank you.

Plan show and tell around a theme. For example, if you are teaching about snow, then incorporate it into your show and tell. In the next article, we will discuss helping parents to participate in show and tell.

To incorporate a writing activity into show and tell time, teach the students how to write a thank you note. For Kindergarteners, this can be a simple sentence written for the classmate, such as, "Thank you for sharing your _________ with us today." The students can draw a picture of the student with the object. Create thank you notes with card stock and lined paper. Copy lined paper into the inside bottom of the card stock and fold.

As a science activity, have the students create a journal of the object and its descriptions. Students can name the color, shape, if it can move and how, and what it can do (beep, giggle, play music and so on).

As a social studies activity, have the students write how they connect to the object. A few examples of how the students may relate to the object are, they may have one at home, there may be one in the classroom, they may have wished for the object, they may have never seen the object before, or someone they know may have the object.

Place an outline in your lesson plan book. Include time, date, students, and if show and tell has been planned around a theme. Include the follow-up activities that you plan to do.

This post is part of the series: Let’s Explore Show and Tell

In this series we take a closer look at show and tell and gain valuable insights from an experienced teacher.
  1. The Case for Classroom Show and Tell
  2. Plan and Create a Learning Experience with Show and Tell
  3. Parental Involvement in Show and Tell
  4. Creating a School Memory Book During Show and Tell