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Author Topic: Topic ideas - go to town!  (Read 23267 times)
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« on: March 12, 2009, 03:27:56 AM »

See also more topic ideas.

"Visualizations of the past" (series)
I think one of the subjects that is hardest to make comprehensible and interesting to little kids is history.  This is partly because our interest in it is abstract and very complex (think why we study Athenian democracy, or the slave trade--now explain that to a two-year-old), but partly because the past is so foreign, different, and therefore puzzling.  That's why I think we need a whole series of books that shows mostly in pictures, but also in well-chosen words, what the past looked like.

National and ethnic groups
Country (or countries), range of physical appearance, dress, languages, religion, etc., of just a few different peoples from around the world, to give children a notion of the diversity of peoples out there.

The intellectual powers
Perceiving (with all senses), thinking (in general), conceptualizing (forming concepts), reasoning (using logic), remembering, imagining. -- We have many presentations about feelings, because they're easy to illustrate in pictures.  Challenge: illustrate the intellectual powers, which are just as important.  The basic idea is to use examples, and let the kid learn the concept through the example.  Examples are relatively easy to illustrate.  You can't draw a picture of someone remembering, but you can tell a brief story showing how someone remembers something.

Weird words
After his interest in electricity, my boy actually listed out three different senses of the word "conductor": electrical, musical, and railroad.  Use examples to illustrate the ideas of meaning, definition, and ambiguity.  Introduce things like dictionaries (with their multiple senses), explaining what a word means, being puzzled or confused about what someone means, nonsense, etc.  Sort of introductory semantics...

Making music
Tell the story (in pictures) illustrating the process of making music.  Cover things like sheet music, music cases, orchestra, practicing, music stand, etc.

A presentation not about types of food, or food ingredients, but about the processes and using the tools of making food.

Generally, cover concepts associated with games, including the concepts of the object of the game, a move or turn, winning, losing, having fun, being competitive, etc.; types of games like board games, card games, sporting games, etc.; also, give some examples of specific important games, like chess, checkers, poker, Monopoly, etc.

Er, I don't know what to say about them, but my boy wants this one.  Specifically requested: "I want a book about balloons!"  Meaning blow-up balloons, not the kind you fly, but I guess it would be OK to cover those, too.

Make your own “song books” from common kid songs and nursery rhymes
Think "Clementine": "In a cavern [picture of a cavern], in a canyon [picture of canyon], excavating for a mine [picture of a mine]..."  Very visual story.  We have some paper books of illustrated songs, but it would be nice to have more.  The "scripts" are already there.  I know this isn't an original idea, but it would be nice to see more.

Grouping and dividing
I'd like to see more math presentations that take a creative approach to illustrating numbers by grouping and dividing them...for ideas, see kids' books about mathematics.

The four states of matter
Solid, liquid, gas, plasma.  Examples of each, videos (or animated gifs!) of things melting, freezing, steaming, burning, etc.  Could be simple or long and meaty.  Doesn't have to be too complicated, you don't have to explain the science, just the examples of the general concepts are mainly what's needed.

The figures, symbols, and basic beliefs of different world religions.

Countries in general
Introduce these concepts: borders, passports, capitals, government, laws; people, businesses, schools; roads, rivers, mountains, forests.  Basically, paint a picture of what "country" means.

Illustrate these concepts: constitution, law books, courts, judges, lawyers, juries, police officers, breaking the law, punishment—prison

Reading a calendar

Biology - kingdoms
Give examples of animals, plants, fungi, and others like viruses to taste.  Explain the differences, only if you can in a way that a small child can begin to understand, and with plenty of pictures.  Don't use big long words unless you define them, please...

Give examples of the proper use of please, thank you, you're welcome, excuse me, pardon me, sorry, pleased to meet you, sir, ma'am, and any others you can think of.

The virtues
There are many different lists of the virtues, but the Seven Virtues are perhaps the most famous.  Aristotle's list is good too.  There are many other popularly celebrated virtues that are not on those lists, though.  I would approach this by showing examples of people who are practicing the virtues.  You might have to tell a little story to do this--remember to use lots of pictures, more pictures than words.

See also more topic ideas.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 04:39:20 AM by DadDude » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2009, 04:55:45 AM »

Good ideas! That will get me started!


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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 07:03:29 AM »

Great ideas.

How about "Choices and Consequences"?  It's something I try hard to impart to Felicity as I try to give her as much freedom in choice as possible, though I explain the possible consequences of each choice.  I find it a very important topic.


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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 07:49:28 AM »

I would like to see some topics on teaching to the senses i.e stimulating the sense of smell, touch, sight, feel and taste. I have come across some of these games "exercises" in some montessori books i have but i would like to see if any other parents have tried them? Also I think it would be nice to teach to the whole child rather than just their right and left brains.

Other than that I think DadDude's ideas are great and I like the one on choices/consequences as well.


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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 08:00:14 AM »





let us teach and see the difference
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 11:07:58 AM »

As always thanks again for the wonderful ideas Daddude....
When I started the countries slideshow set, I too thought of stating capitals and general must do information for each country... but right now am tight on time and usually am doing with Kyle around me meaning its difficult to write out sentences, am now just cut pasting using mouse

« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 11:11:00 AM by Kyles Mom » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2009, 11:39:28 AM »

My favorite presentation is the Cat Family. I would like to see more video presentations with using the picture audio to explain the concept. I think this would be an excellent way to do science presentation. Like the freezing, melting, one Daddude suggested. I prefer the presentations in LR as opposed to powerpoint.


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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 12:00:22 PM »

Great idea.

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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2009, 01:30:31 PM »

National and ethnic groups is the one I liked. I'll try that one (have patience, though, I am a busy mom!) People are fascinating, more so than landmarks to me...


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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2009, 02:24:46 AM »

I flatter myself that some of my suggestions have inspired some recent uploads...if so, thank you very much.  We'll be able to use some of these...


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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2009, 02:31:43 AM »

Thanks it is very good

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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2009, 09:48:59 AM »

I googled "kindergarten powerpoint" and found a bunch of great presentations.  I like them because it tells me the level of detail and types of things they cover in certain grades.  I found some for higher grades and I'm using them as well.  Many of them are included in the ideas mentioned. 

The presentations are almost unusable except for the facts.  Most have loud graphics, cartoon pictures, and tons of facts on one page that come up in an animated way.  I'm basically using them for the idea and facts and then re-doing each slide.  It doesn't take much less time than starting from scratch but I'm doing things that I wouldn't have originally thought of. 

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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2010, 05:49:49 PM »

great idea
i'm starting now!

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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2010, 06:04:37 AM »

A few comments:

My instinct is to go to a visual dictionary or wikipedia and get ideas there.
Here are some random ideas, though:

  • types of spices
  • history of the spice trade
  • history of the black sea
  • space flight
  • how the internet works
  • how wireless technology works
  • any process that's described in the cable TV show How it's Made (like neon lights, diapers, and leather)
  • topics related to saving and investing money or managing money
  • topics related to architecture/architectural forms (arches, columns, etc.)

A concern I have is that some of these topics are just not suited to flat computer presentations...isn't it important to get all 5 or your senses involved for many subjects?


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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2010, 02:13:41 AM »

Examples of each, videos (or animated gifs!) of things melting, freezing, steaming, burning, etc.

Hi DadDude, I tried a few times (quite a while ago) to add animated gifs to my shows, but it did not work  tongue  .  Do you know if Little Reader supports animated gifs now?  It would be so great if it did!!  yes


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