As part of the learning unit, we have a show and tell presentation. Students are required to bring in an object that has special meaning to them. When introducing the assignment, a teacher can model the presentation.
For my item, I share a Santa Claus paperweight taking a hook shot. One year a manager on my basketball team gave me this item. It is of very little monetary value, however the student was one of the nicest people I have ever met. He had some physical challenges that did not allow him to participate in sports, however he really enjoyed being part of the program. I always remember this student whenever I look at the item. It brings back some great memories.
The requirements of the assignments are:
1. Bring in an item. The first year I completed the assignment, there were way to many wallets, keys, rings, etc. I realized this was due to the fact that the majority of the students forget the assignment and were being creative. After that first year, I asked that the students speak to me beforehand if it is an item they normally carry on their person.
2. Oral Presentation. Speak to the class about your object. I often ask follow up questions to learn more about the items and the connection to the students.
3. Writing Assignment. The students are required to submit a 2-paragraph explanation of the item. The typed reflection also helps address some of the problems that were encountered the first year with the wallets.The first paragraph will be the history of the item. What is it? How old were you when you received it? Does the object have any connection to another person?
The second paragraph is an explanation of the significance of the item in the student’s life.
Write a classical conditioning equation as it applies to your object.
PERSON / EVENT / MEMORY       —->       EMOTION (Step #1)
(UCS)                                  —->             (UCR)
Step #2            OBJECT  + EVENT/MEMORY   —->       EMOTION
(CS)         +       (UCS)                   —->         (UCR)
Step #3            OBJECT                     —->      EMOTION
(CS)                      —->            (CR)
SPECIFIC EQUATION (Each student should have a unique equation.)
Step #1            STUDENT MANAGER       —->     EMOTION
(UCS)                                  —->             (UCR)
Step #2            SANTA   + STUDENT MANAGER   —->  EMOTION
(CS)         +       (UCS)                   —->         (UCR)
Step #3            SANTA               —->           EMOTION
(CS)                      —->            (CR)
Based on my past experience, I would like to share one word of caution. Tell the students not to bring in an object that is too important to bring in. One year a student who had brain surgery brought in a hospital bracelet of her stay and LOST IT!
After sending out the following email to the school staff we were able to locate it before the end of the day. Losing the bracelet would have been a tragic ending to a great learning activity.
Hello everyone,
For Psychology class we completed a show and tell activity. The students brought in a meaningful object. One student has LOST a hospital bracelet. If you happen to find this, please turn it in to me or the office. It would mean the world to the student and me.
Thanks for you cooperation.
The learning unit is at the start of the school year. So in addition to an activity to reinforce concepts it is a great way to learn a little more about your students. I have learned of world travel, personal loss, impressive achievements, hobbies, and interests. As a teacher, I like to understand the whole student and this simple activity is a great way to accomplish this objective.
For my class it is a 15-point assignment that is quickly grader. Since the presentation is simply a summary of the oral presentation, I quickly skim the reflection.
5 points = physically bringing the item.
5 points = paragraph #1, the history of the object.
5 points = paragraph #2, the personal significance of the object.