It may seem like a simple elementary school endeavor, but there is much more to show and tell than meets the eye. Show and tell examples give students of all ages the opportunity to practice public speaking and presentation skills in the classroom. The show and tell competition ideas go far beyond the elementary school classroom. High school students can find hidden talents when presented with show and tell competition ideas. Adaptable for a variety of subjects, show and tell gives students the opportunity to learn about their classmates and to sharpen their own sharing to create a focused topic and presentation.

Autobiographical Project Ideas

During preschool and primary grades, show and tell provides an opportunity for young kids to develop comfort speaking in front of a class. A simple project asks students to bring in an object that represents their personality. Additional prompting might ask students to share an object that holds a special memory for them or describes an activity that they do with their family. In a more extensive project, students can bring in several objects or pictures that represent who they are. Young students can present to their classmates in two to three minutes to gain practice speaking in front of the class.

History Project Concepts

Show and tell ideas for high school students abound. Students in middle school and above can use the show and tell examples to present information about local history projects. In researching their communities, students can take pictures of local historical sites or objects and research the place or item and its role in the development of their communities. The show and tell presentation includes the item, if possible, or a picture of the item and explanation of both its history and its importance. Older students can be asked to develop lengthier presentations.

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Letters and Numbers

The subjects of ABC and 123 hold a slew of show and tell competition ideas. Preschool and kindergarten students learning to identify letters of the alphabet and number sense can use show and tell to demonstrate understanding of both letters and numbers. Show and tell examples include focusing on a letter each week, where each student can bring in an object whose name begins with the given letter. An "A" assignment might include sharing an apple or a picture of an arrow. In demonstrating understanding of numbers, students can be asked to bring in a given amount of an object. For example, while studying the number five, students can bring in five pennies or five baseballs.

Take it Further with Technology

Put a modern spin on the classic show and tell ideas for high school. They can record and add a video component with tablets to accompany their presentation, opening their skill set, imagination and engagement on many levels. For young children, the excitement of show and tell can go further with a bit of background research conducted by the child before they present their chosen piece to the class. By researching their item online, the history of it, the origin or how it pertains to their lives can assist young children with understanding how to use the internet for research.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Jana Sosnowski holds Master of Science in educational psychology and instructional technology, She has spent the past 11 years in education, primarily in the secondary classroom teaching English and journalism. Sosnowski has also worked as a curriculum writer for a math remediation program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from the University of Southern California.