Every year our family participates in a local Homeschool EXPO. It is similar to a science fair, except the children can present on any topic they choose. Each child is expected to prepare a visual display and a 3- to 5-minute oral presentation on their chosen topic. It is always a very positive experience for the kids. It is not a competition; rather, each child is given a participation ribbon and slips of paper from several parent "judges" with comments regarding their presentation and visual display. This has been a wonderful opportunity to help my children gain confidence in public speaking!
Now, my children are naturally very outgoing and confident. There is not a shy one in the whole bunch! Speaking in front of an audience is no problem for the Beechy kids, but the work of researching and preparing an oral presentation.......that is where the problem lies. All of my boys have been late bloomers in the subjects of reading and writing. (Don't fret over your late bloomers, mamas. There is hope! I'll have to post more on that topic later....) Because writing is such a struggle for them in elementary and even into middle school grades, the EXPO was becoming a real source of stress for me. I love the EXPO because it's such a great time of fun and fellowship with other homeschooling families and because my kids enjoy public speaking. But I was getting to the point of giving it up. The research and writing was becoming too much work.
As we entered into preparations for 2018 EXPO, I realized I had a decision to make: Give up the EXPO or come up with a way to make this process much easier. After the kids overwhelming vote to keep participating in the EXPO, I sat down at the computer and brainstormed a way to break the process of researching and writing into simple steps for kids who are either very young or who struggle in reading and writing. After several hours, I created this 15-page step-by-step instruction guide for researching and preparing oral presentations. I am happy to report it was an overwhelming success!!
This was the most enjoyable experience with the Homeschool EXPO that this mama has ever had! Because it worked so well for our family, I wanted to share it with all of you! This printable is not just for use in preparing an oral presentation. This will work great for any kind of research report, whether homeschool or public school. As you can see from the images below, I have created a step-by-step guide that your child can use independently or with very little help from you.
Step 1 takes your child through the process of choosing their topic. It also helps them to begin brainstorming questions they will need to answer on their topic.
Step 2 shows your child how to use multiple sources when researching a topic. I didn't include instructions for "citing sources" because I wanted this to be used by very young children who are not quite ready for that step. Instead, I opted for a simpler version by having them list the title of their source and then circle where they found the information.
This page was probably one of the most beneficial to my younger children. After going through this step with my kids, I realized that even my 6th grader did not have very good note-taking skills and was probably one of the reasons he had struggled in his research before. Also, included in this step are multiple pages for your child to take notes. We have provided blank pages, lined pages and even a webbed page.
The next step is to plan your visual display. This is the fun part! Keep in mind this is just an early planning phase for your visual display. You won't know for sure what your visual display will look like until your outline is completed. That will give you a better idea of how to organize your visual display. Still, I find it very helpful to know in advance what crazy ideas the kids are concocting for their presentation......that way they don't spring an idea on me the night before the EXPO!
Now it's time to create an outline. Again, we have made this a very simple, easy-to-follow process.
After creating their outline, they are ready to write their rough draft. I have my children write their rough draft, then I edit it and we sit down together to type their final draft.
This worked like a dream for my kiddos this year! Hopefully, it will bless you as well!
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