Medieval Mini Presentation

When we heard that Gary’s parents were coming to stay with us, we thought it might be good for them to see for themselves some of the work we have been doing.  So we decided to do a mini presentation.  Mini because I knew there was no way we would have the time or the inclination to put in the work required to carry off one of our normal presentations.  As it turned out we had to almost force ourselves to do this one.  Well, who wants to be working when you can be playing with your beloved grandparents?

Trying out their outfits
Trying out their outfits

I think they did very well under the circumstances, but I learnt a lesson and I doubt we’ll be doing anymore mini presentations.  Grandad and Granny are just too lovely to be around to be learning lines and practicing.  The children are very possessive over their time with their grandparents, probably due to the fact they rarely see them, so holiday times with them have no place for academics.  Sigh.  You live and learn.

Anyway, without further ado here is our mini presentation.  L11 chose to do hers on Muhammad and the Islamic faith.  We had done a full study on this subject, so she found it very easy to keyword it and turn it into a presentation:

L's keywords
L’s keywords

And she used the model we had made during that study as a means to demonstrate her story:

DSC_0462

She decided to be an Islamic scholar and chose her costume from our dressing up box:

Doesn't she look beautiful?
Doesn’t she look beautiful?

Her presentation was quite long, but she did a sterling job, especially considering we had practiced a fraction of the amount we usually do for presentations:

First she invited everyone up to look at our model.
First she invited everyone up to look at our model.
Starting her presentation
Starting her presentation
She did a really good job of incorporating her props into her presentation
She did a really good job of incorporating her props into her presentation
Everyone watching and listening carefully
Everyone watching and listening carefully

Well done L12, you did a great job!

C11 had such a difficult time choosing her subject and the first one she chose I thought was too hard to condense to presentation timing, the next we tried (at my suggestion) was full of longer, complicated words, which she struggled to say fluently each time she practiced.  I could see she was getting more and more concerned, so I suggested a topic, very similar to her first choice, just a little less complicated.  I was very proud of how she handled it, given she really only had a day to practice.  Her presentation was on Richard the Lionheart and was based on our leadership study.  She decided herself to be a knight who fought in the crusades under the leadership of Richard.  The purpose of her presentation was to recruit more knights to fight for the cause.  Here she is dressed up:

She chose to use the propaganda poster we made to strengthen her plees
She chose to use the propaganda poster we made to strengthen her pleas
We key worded it together, because we were really running out of time.  Unusually I left in full sentences to help her
We key worded it together, because we were really running out of time. Unusually I left in full sentences to help her
I needn't have worried.  She had it practically memorised by the time she came to do it, and her exuberant personality really showed through!
I needn’t have worried. She had it practically memorised by the time she came to do it, and her exuberant personality really showed through!

Do you remember these?

DSC_0545

C11 also decided to hand these out to her Grandad and Granny to encourage them to join her on her plight to save the Holy Lands!

I think under the circumstances she did a really good job.  And the whole experience showed me how important it was to choose a subject matter that interests the student.  C11 could not get to grips with the one I chose despite having a whole week, yet as soon as she had something she enjoyed she was able to carry it out in just one day.  Another lesson learnt.  Claire – you need to step back and allow the process to happen and YOU MUST STOP INTERFERING!!

Funnily enough I did just that for T12’s presentation and was blown away by what he managed to achieve.  T12 decided to do his presentation on Alhazan, a medieval Islamic scientist whom we had just recently studied.  I’m not sure who he was dressed as but he definitely had an eastern look about him:

T12 giving his presentation
T12 giving his presentation

T12 basically researched everything on his fairly newly acquired computer (September) and wrote out his key words into a powerpoint presentation:

The start of his presentation gave a brief biography of Alhazan
The start of his presentation gave a brief biography of Alhazan
In the second part of the presentation he described how the eye worked, including a lovely diagram obtained from the internet.  He even handed out a biconcave lens he had obtained from his physics tutor
In the second part of the presentation he described how the eye worked, including a lovely diagram obtained from the internet. He even handed out a biconcave lens he had obtained from his physics tutor

He included the following video on his laptop for his audience to watch, about the camera obscura:

And then gave his Grandad and Granny a go at looking at our living room upside down on his:

Granny looking at his camera obscura
Granny looking at his camera obscura

He did a great job and without me having a hand in anything.  He was 100% independent and I was a very proud mummy.

It’s funny, the mini presentation wasn’t up to our normal standard at all, due to the lack of practice (and incentive, if I’m honest) and yet it is probably the presentation I have learnt the most from.

I am realising my children are growing up and are ready to be much more independent and I am learning that there is far more joy that way.  Oh, and it is also becoming clear that A5 is ready to be doing a little presentation herself.  She was itching to be involved and even B2 asked to do a M’Men  (Mr Men) presentation!  Next time, everyone will be involved.

    Homegrown Learners

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

37 comments

  1. Brilliant Claire! I can’t tell you how many people I know who are absolutely terrified of any form of public speaking. This (in my opinion) is affording your children the opportunity to get comfortable in front of an ‘audience’. It is an incredibly valuable skill. Even more so because they are attempting to convey an idea that is important to them. Really, really brilliant! Well done guys!

  2. What awesome presentations! I know what you mean about academics and relatives visiting. We have learned the same thing. I stick to education day trips. I would like to try is some time. Maybe if the kids were already before the grands got here.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. In a way, it’s a balance. I wanted their grandparents to be involved like my mum is everyday. But it’s no fun for the children if they have to fit in practice around their grandparents visit. I’ll not do it again. Maybe we’ll send the videos to them?

    1. I don’t think it comes that easily to T because of his speech, but I guess because he’s done them since he was 6 he just accepts them as part and parcel of his schooling. The girls, like their father, love being up in front of people (he’s a worship leader) but T and I are very much more reserved!

  3. Mini presentations? Really?? Fabulous work, everyone! I agree with Ticia about the video presentations. That would be fantastic. I know my children would love to see them.
    The costumes are such a benefit to the presentations. I also looked at their key words closely. This is such a wonderful way to prepare for public speaking.
    It looks like T12 is well on his way to independent learning. I know that is exciting for you and Gary.
    I am sure it was hard to work with grandparents around, but it looks like they managed quite well.
    Bravo, children!
    Enjoy your weekend, Claire. Today we are celebrating a 15th birthday, so we are taking the day off to prepare. Exciting!

  4. Lovely costumes, and sounds like all three presentations have been awesome! I totally understand how difficult it would be to get the children into preparation mode when grandparents around – Tiger would flatly refuse to do any school-related work during family time (that includes family visits). Your children have done fabulously!

  5. I thought the presentations were excellent! I’d love to see videos of them on a regular basis. I really thought you were just putting the final touches to them while we were there. To have had so little real practice they were great. Showed how much they had taken in during lessons. Looking forward to seeing you soon. XXXXXXX

  6. It’s hard to let go sometimes, but very important to encourage independent work. The more the kids become independent learners now, the more they will enjoy learning in the future. Some kids really prefer independence, while others want to be told exactly what is expected of them. Both are a bit of a challenge sometimes.

  7. If this is a quick practice, “not up to scratch” mini presentation, I think I would be bowled over reading about a full presentation! It sounds fascinating.

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