The power of presentation – getting kids to present information

The power of presentation – getting kids to present information

By Rebecca Woodbury Keller

The power of presentation – getting kids to present information


In my last post, I explored asking questions, and the importance of curiosity, and asking our own questions. Research shows kids learn more when they ask their own questions vs. the questions adults pose to them. Then, combining what students learn from asking their own questions and exploring via curiosity, when students present the information they have learned, they become an expert on that topic – called “retrieval practice” in educational circles. 

Retrieval practice - promotes learning

Retrieval practice can be an untapped learning strategy. We often approach a final exam, or final project, as a way for a student to present their work for the sake of the grade, but it’s actually a key element for solidifying a student’s understanding and retention of the subject matter.  

When we present to others, we are demonstrating our own understanding of a subject matter. To effectively communicate a concept, a student must fully research the topic, review it, organize it, and then share the information in a manner that is understandable to their audience. And, when it is shared in a way that is unique to the individual student, we accomplish the tazzle part of RATATAZ – the dazzle that moves beyond just information regeneration and into learning and retention for all.

The TAZ in RATATAZ is for tazzle – students can talk, tell, and dazzle others with what they’ve learned. Why does this matter?  

Can you recall learning experiences, presentations, or classes that stuck with you? Likely, their long-lasting impact was rooted in the presenter’s ability to tap their own passions in sharing the information with you – bringing you into the learning story.  

Allowing a student to fully express themselves in a presentation ensures that they are fully invested in the project and will ultimately learn more throughout the entire experience. More skills that can be used in other aspects of a student’s life, thus building well-rounded, life-long learners.

How does this connect to science learning? 

When students are able to present their information in any creative way they choose, using their individual talents and strengths, the learning experience moves beyond just an information report. It keeps the curiosity alive. 

For example, I had a student learning about the Mars Rover. Her presentation was a video of the Mars rover using interpretive dance. But wait? How is that “scientific”? For this student, it was exciting to deliver what she learned in a way that she found fun and engaging. And, to effectively communicate via interpretive dance, she learned even more about the Mars Rover than she would have with a written report or traditional presentation.  

Obviously, this stuck with me because it perfectly highlighted her talents, and her presentation was skilled and informative. She did in a way was refreshing, memorable, and dazzling! 

The way students are taught today often comes with rules – that can accommodate educators evaluating presentations. What if the rules didn’t exist? What if creativity ruled and individuality was embraced? What if each student did an interpretive dance instead of a PowerPoint?

When students are given the power to choose their topic and choose how they would like to present it - the student unlocks new skills in decision-making, project planning, problem-solving, AND information retention. Skills that serve them long-term. 

RATATAZ is designed to help your child to unlock their passion for learning and tackle complex subjects.

The last step of the method - talk, tell, and dazzle, practices retrieving what they learned. The kits are set up so adults don’t have to recreate the process – you can get right to exploring and learning with your child or students. 

Sequence matters, and we built it for you! 

Learn more about our RATATAZ curriculum subscription kits here