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Author Topic: More topic ideas  (Read 7840 times)
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« on: March 13, 2009, 04:38:19 AM »

See also Topic ideas - go to town!

More ideas off the top of my head, hoping people will jump on them (or tell me where there's a good presentation already out there...).

Art forms/media:
painting (different kinds + drawing), sculpture (video definitely preferred here), architecture, and others.  Be sure to include pix of the raw materials (i.e., paint squirting out of tubes, a block of marble, etc.).

Art styles:
For the six most important/influential art periods & styles, give (say) three really good examples, and try to explain the differences as well as you can.

Types of painting:
portrait, landscape, still life, abstract...any others?  Maybe historical, fictional, and religious scenes?  Anyway, after introducing these with examples (perhaps including photographs of painters actually painting these things), then do a little "quiz": "What kind of painting is this?"  Make sure the quiz is really easy, i.e., the paintings are really obviously one type or another.

Addition and subtraction
Introduce the concepts of addition and subtraction in the "ordinary" way but using a presentation.  Boy holding two apples, receives one apple: “He has two apples.  You give him one more apple.  Now he has three!  That means: two…plus one…is three!”  Repeat.  Unlike other presentation topics, this one really could benefit from animation.  Your own pictures for this, if you're an artist, would help clarify the concepts than pictures that don't quite do the job.  I think it would be hard to find a series of pictures showing a boy holding two apples, then reaching out and taking a third apple, then holding three apples.

The bare concepts of fractions.  Pix of pies etc.  Half, third, quarter, eighth.  You might use cultural associations here.  Good examples are absolutely necessary.

Basic units of measurement
Inches, feet, yards, miles, with examples of things that occupy this length of space; mm, cm, m, km; teaspoons on up to gallons; etc.  Be sure in all cases to give the most common examples you can think of.  E.g., think gallon, think milk.  Think inch, think an inch worm, or the end of your (an adult's) thumb.  Unless you give vivid examples it's going to be very boring.

Chemical compounds
including, especially, common chemical compounds, like H2O, CO2, CO, O2, N2, H2, NaCl, HCl, H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide), NH3 (Ammonia), Cl2 (chlorine), FeO (iron oxide, rust), HNO3 (nitric acid), O3 (ozone), CaCO3 (calcium carbonate, marble, Rolaids), H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), C6H6 (benzene), CHCl3 (chloroform), C3H8 (propane), C12H22O11 (sucrose), C6H8O6 (Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid), C9H8O4 (Aspirin, Acetylsalicylic Acid), C (graphite, diamond, coal?) -- This would have to be several presentations, I think.  Absolutely crucial to give pictures wherever possible, and practical everyday uses & our experience with these things.  Very colorful 3-D type pictures (animated gifs, even better) for the molecules themselves are a must...

What happens at what temperatures, and what it feels put a sweater or coat on at this temperature; you put a winter coat on at this temperature, and snow can start falling...etc.  Pictures both of how temperature affects the environment and objects of everyday experience, and also what people look like in the temperatures (e.g., 85+F = sweat).

The structure of the Earth
tectonic plates; crust, mantle, and core; hydrosphere, atmosphere, etc.; eras of the Earth's development

Behaviors and features of dogs
barking and other vocalizations, guarding, pack behavior; dog food, dog houses, dog-human friendships, etc.

Behaviors and features of cats

Behaviors and features of pet birds

Famous and fictional dogs

Famous and fictional cats

Zoo animals
Arranged by continent, approximately as you might find them at your local zoo--to review before visiting the zoo.

Coniferous vs. deciduous trees
Give examples and explain the differences

History Highlights (a series)
Give a series of answers to "How did X happen?" questions, where X is a deeply important, influential event (discovery, etc.).  This suggests a “World History” introductory presentation, or series of presentations, which would list off all the highlights, with only minimal background.  I can see three slides (or three slide types/sections, because sometimes it will take more than one slide to cover something).  "Today, everyone can read.  But a long time ago, there was no such thing as language.  Nobody could read.  Then, the Phonecians (or whoever?) started to write down what they said."  "Today, to light up a room at night, you can just turn on a lightswitch…"  You arrange the "highlights" in historical order.

"Introduction to history"
The whole idea of the past, and what things were like in the past, and what sort of things, in the past, that we study (past empires; past rulers; past wars and battles; past peoples; past religions and rites; past inventions and discoveries; etc.).  Keep it simple, use many good pictures.

Presentations about historical periods
Make books about ancient Greece and Rome, the Middle Ages, modern Europe, and modern/contemporary history—just introducing the very basic concepts, such as Greek temples, monasteries, kings and kingdoms, and inventions and progress.  Emphasize the differences between us now and them back then.  There are many kid (paper) books about historical periods, but not so many for very little kids.  What there needs to be is just the simplest sort of introduction to the main features/concepts of a historical period.

How these developed:
o Types of government
o Communication
o Travel
o Weaponry/fighting
These can all (except maybe government) be illustrated very handily and clearly...

Musical styles/genres
Incorporate music and/or links to well-chosen videos to illustrate the difference between rock and roll, classical, jazz, and other genres of music.

Stripes, spots/polka dots, calico, plaid...c'mon help me out here

Performance types & "shows"
Movie, play, formal (concert hall) concert, informal (barroom hall) concert, reading (e.g., poetry), opera, ballet, modern dance, circus, magic show, water show, ice capades...

Time of day in general
What happens when.  Try to make it general to many people's experience.  At 6 AM, people get up. ... Go through the day for a school child, then an adult.  Obviously this differs from culture to culture...U.S. habits are what I personally am interested in, but that shouldn't stop you from talking about siestas and late evening meals if that's what your people are into.

Dance types
Waltz, swing, tango, salsa; various folk dance types; etc.  Obviously, this would require videos.  Just a presentation with pictures of people doing the dance type, then a link to a YouTube video, would do the trick.

That's enough for now!

See also Topic ideas - go to town!

« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 04:40:05 AM by DadDude » Logged

Larry Sanger -
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 05:13:34 PM »

DadDure, you should create your own blog. I'm sure many of us (and many others) would love to hear what you do with your son...

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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2010, 06:26:18 PM »

I'm not sure that he has time for that  Wink


"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."

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