History with Presentation Boards

Presenting - History!One of my kids wasn’t too keen on writing.  I tried several methods to get him to write, and I have already shown you a few of my more successful attempts.

One of my greatest feel-good moments was when he signed up for my class titled History Through Drama.  I insisted he sign up once, but he did it a few more times on his own.  Very happy day!

My goal in the class was to get kids to learn about history in a way that would help them retain the information.Gabes presentation (2)  My son, Gabe, is on the right in this photo, reading from cards that he wrote so he could present to the other kids in the homeschool class.

Their presentation was on Toledan steel. I gave the boys a time period and they chose their topic.  A quote from their board –Due to their fame, these swords were choosen by Hannibal for his army, and the Roman legions, defeated by those weapons, adopted them later and supplied their centurions with the dread Toledan blades.”

You can see that there are two main reports on this presentation board. Each of the boys had cards they had written, and they chose to present their information using a presentation board they had filled with pictures.

There are yellow “Did You Know” mini books that the kids could open to find interesting facts about Toledo steel.

Pictures can be taken from the internet or drawn.  Timelines are a fun addition too.

One of the reasons I enjoyed this method of covering information is that Gabe has retained it.  He is now 20 and can still tell me some of the most famous swords and the armies that used them.  Talk about an expert in his field – Gabe knows his steel!

And it all started with a History presentation.

There was a lot more writing involved in this presentation than either of the boys realized.  They had to find their interesting facts, write their reports, label their pictures, and write out the cards for their speeches.

Presentation boards are terrific for several reasons.

  • kids gather a lot of information in one spot
  • when used often, research becomes second nature
  • writing with a purpose
  • writing becomes part of an interesting project rather than a mundane assignment
  • helps less confident speakers focus and keep track of their presentation
  • allows those listening to get a closer look at information that they may have missed

I’m sure there are many other reasons to use presentation boards.  Please add in the comments section below how you use them with your homeschooling family.

When kids read from a text, they learn the material long enough to take a test.  Ask them a few months or even weeks later and they often can’t remember much.

However, if they have to do the research, write about their chosen topic, gather pictures and important/fun facts, and give a presentation, their retention will greatly increase.  Especially when they choose their own topic. 

If you are afraid they won’t cover all aspects of The Civil War that need to be covered, rest assured in the fact that they will know much more than you realize, and they will remember it forever.

These are the steps I use when my kids wanted to present using presentation boards.

  1. Provide a time period or topic you want covered.
  2. Allow your child to choose something specific within the boundaries you set.  Example: For The Civil War, Gabe chose military weapons, Jed chose military generals, Ali chose military strategies, Krystal chose a general overview, and Trina chose the causes and outcomes.
  3. A trip to the library for research and books.
  4. Allow time blocks daily for your kids to put their boards together.  You are available to guide and assist, but this is their project. Let their creativity flow and they will not only learn, but they will enjoy the learning!
  5. Provide an audience so they can give a real presentation.  I have invited neighbors, friends, other family members.  

Enjoy your use of presentation boards, and always remember that if you can create an enjoyable learning environment, 95% of your homeschooling is done.  Now just add a purpose and method, and you have planted the seeds for a lifetime of a-love-for-learning with your children!

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to drop me a line below for your suggestions and thoughts on the use of presentation boards.






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4 Replies to “History with Presentation Boards”

  1. This is great, my little sister is home schooled and my mom is always looking for ways to make it easier for her to learn.

    I know when I was growing up it always helped for me to see something visually, more than just words on paper.

    Especially with presenting in school, it kept my class more focused, my teacher loved the effort I put into doing it resulting in good grades.

    Plus it’ll be a great tool for to have to know how to utilize visual presentations in the professional job field when she’s older.

    I’ll be passing it on to her for sure, thanks for sharing!

    1. Tyler, I’m glad I can help. My son Gabe, who is in the picture of the presentation, didn’t like to write. But he didn’t mind doing these types of presentations. And it keeps learning fresh and more interesting. If you would like any more ideas, feel free to poke around my site. There’s some great information here!

  2. I teach writing in an art school, and this is a really good idea to get students excited about learning and writing. With computers, they can even do digital ones. I think they do learn better when they can show and tell what they know. Also including images and infographics can keep things interesting. Having an audience will definitely encourage them to do a better job. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thanks Lily,

      I love that you were able to see how this simple lesson can be applied to art! My main goal is to get kids excited about learning. If you can make that happen, all you have to do is provide opportunity and step back and watch it happen. Amazing what kids who love learning can do!


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