Zoo School Openings
During the course of their year at Zoo School our students have a number of opportunities to develop their presentation skills. The ability to share knowledge and ideas with others is going to be very important throughout their life. Whether they use this to inform, entertain, or sway opinions will depend on the circumstance. Students are exposed to a variety of situations where they can enhance these skills.
The first opportunity is quite basic. They get to choose a topic, research and develop a 5-10 minute presentation on their subject. These are used to start the day, hence the name Opening, and quite often become a spring board for further discussion. Current events topics are presented in Mr. F.’s room and topics related to the natural environment start the day for Mr. K. Students are all assigned a day in each classroom to present. Their presentation in one classroom is spaced about 6 weeks after their date in the other room so they have plenty of time to prepare. One week before their presentation date they are required to discuss their progress with the teacher. This is important so they are not putting it off until the last minute and they can get help and suggestions if needed. They are expected to become an expert on their subject, not just skim over the topic.
Their Current Events and Environmental Openings have some requirements in common but there are also some differences. Research is the same for both presentations. Note cards, bibliography, and an outline are expected in both rooms. For the Current Events presentation they also need a report. Both require a poster but the Environmental one must be designed to fit a particular spot that the student reserves and they may have to cut it to fit. They need to have some other visual to supplement the Environmental poster. For example, if a student is studying the Kirtland Warbler in Michigan, besides their poster, they might have a branch and cone from the Jack Pine along with a map showing the location of the Warbler’s natural habitat. An evaluation sheet is provided that outlines the requirements and should be used as guide while the student plans the presentation.