About twice a year our older children put on a presentation about the period they are studying. So far we have done astronomy, Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. We are very fortunate to live in a village where we are well supported in our homeschooling endeavours. We shop locally and so know many of the shop keepers, who have been very helpful providing things that are hard to come by, such as the butcher searching out pigeon and deer for our Mesopotamia night, the green grocer getting his hands on some wonderful exotic fruit for Egypt. So we started inviting all these wonderful people to come and see our presentations. The butcher and his wife have been to two presentations.
This term we have been studying Anglo Saxons and did a presentation Thursday evening. This time we invited the couple that runs the running shop. They had helped us out by providing lots of shoe boxes when we revisited Mesopotamia and made a model of Hammurabi’s stele.
T10 chose to focus on the burial at Sutton Hoo, L9 chose food and C9 chose clothes.
Apologies for the quality of the photos, they were done at night-time and didn’t turn out terribly well!
We begin each presentation by doing a display of all the children’s work for the term. The children take our guests and explain each piece of work. This is useful two-fold. First it instills pride in their work and second it revises all they have learnt.
Here you can see our papier-mache map, with Offa’s Dyke, a village and the burial at Sutton Hoo.
Here are our folders containing all our work done since the summer, a lucet (a medieval braiding wood), a weaving loom, a spinning set and our school dollies that we use to design and make dress up for the era we are studying.
Here is a close up of the Lucet and an example of the braiding we did:
The dolls were a new idea for this term. The girls wanted to learn to sew, but having attempted large projects with them before we had a little issue with actually finishing anything! So I tried to think of a way I could teach them but have an end product as well and this was what I came up with. We had good fun, not a whole heap of sewing, more tearing, wrapping and pinning, but we finished – that’s an improvement, right?
I also helped the children make up their own dressing up, which they, bizarrely, ended up falling asleep in last night! (they said they were so tired they lay down and fell straight to sleep!) I had the rather disconcerting experience of waking up today with an Anglo-Saxon at the end of my bed!!
We always provide food and try to cook something from the period and country we’re presenting on. This time we cooked some chicken and pearl barley thick stew with bread trenchers and some honey and oat biscuits to follow. We managed to get some mead wine and served it with goat’s milk and ginger beer (not mixed together, you understand!!).
And finally pictures of them all ‘presenting’
Each child writes their presentation on the subject they have chosen and then together we put it into key words. It is these key words that they hold in the folder to prompt them. After each presentation the guests are encouraged to ask the children anything about their topic. We also critique the children’s public speaking skills, focussing on the positive but also giving one area they can work on. We have very confident children so this is one of their favourite parts. Possibly if they were nervous speakers or less confident the critiquing would do more damage than good. It works for us!