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. Last night we had our Anglo-Saxon Homeschool Presentation. 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.
Last night, we had the couple who own the running shop a two minute walk from our home. This lovely couple have been giving us all the empty running shoes boxes they didn’t need which we have happily deconstructed and used in all sorts of projects. So how do we put on a homeschool presentation? Just keep on reading, and you’ll find out!
Choosing a Topic
The presentation will include all the work the children have done, including the skills they have learnt, any models they have made, their wonderful notebooks full of lovely work and our huge paper mache map. However, I like the children to choose a specific topic within the general unit study to focus on.
For their Anglo-Saxon homeschool presentation, Thomas chose to focus on the burial at Sutton Hoo, which we had built on our paper mache map (see below), Lillie chose Anglo-Saxon food and Charlotte chose Anglo-Saxon clothes. (Apologies for the quality of the photos, they were done at night-time and didn’t turn out terribly well!)
Preparing for our Anglo-Saxon Homeschool Presentation
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.
I use three black mount board in an A2 size which I stick together using black gaffe tape. Sometimes I do it width ways, other times, if I need a taller display, I tape them long sides together. Either works well. For this presentation we used print outs for the display board, mainly because they had come free with a product I had bought and we didn’t want to waste them. Usually I use the children’s work and blue tac their note pages onto the board (see our ancient Egyptian presentation).
Utilising the Map
We made a huge Paper Mache map of Great Britain and surrounding lands.
And the land marks close up:
Displaying the Children’s Work
As we had not stuck the children’s work about the Anglo-Saxons onto the display board, we included their files so that our guests could peruse them. Also on the table is a simple weaving loom, a spinner and sample of wool and an ancient Lucet and the braiding the children completed using it. There are also the two dolls which Charlotte used to try out ideas for Anglo-Saxon clothing:
Here is a close up of the Lucet and an example of the braiding we did. These were used as belts or bracelets:
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?
In addition, dressing these dolls became very good practice for making our own Anglo-Saxon Costumes…
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 foot of my bed!!
I have written a detailed post about how we went about making these home-made Anglo-Saxon costume. They were so simple, and best of all no sewing, just a bit of braiding. And because they used items we had lying around the house, these costumes cost nothing!
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!!):
It was all delicious, although eating the stew off trenchers was an experience in itself!
The Night of Our Anglo-Saxon Homeschool Presentation
Our guests arrived and we ate together, off our laps (because the dining table was taken up with all the presentation stuff). As I said, this was
interesting really really really messy.
Next, the children showed off all their work to their guests, allowing them to flip through their files.
And finally pictures of them all ‘presenting’ (I’m so sorry about the quality of these photos. It was at night and I obviously hadn’t got the right setting):
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, focusing 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!