As the summer approaches kids are getting ready to end their long school year. I knew that if I wanted to get the experience of how it is to present to different age groups I needed to act fast. Recently, I had a group of 1st graders out in the Elkhorn Slough Reserve trails. Last week I had the opportunity to go to Barding Elementary in Salinas to present to a class of 3rd graders about bird conservation. This experience helped me understand more about how students 6-8 years olds behave in class and out in nature.
When presenting to 3rd graders you need to change your presenting style, so I created a more age appropriate version of my presentation to suit the younger audience. I noticed that to keep 3rd graders focused I had to keep them entertained throughout the presentation. I concluded that when they were laughing they were more likely to pay attention to what I was going to say next. So throughout the presentation I was moving around, more like a performer. When comparing high school and middle school students to 1st graders, older kids are reluctant to share stories and ask questions. High school students are very shy and afraid, but 3rd graders will ask so many questions that if you are not careful you will end up spending twice as much time on your presentation. Overall, 3rd grade students were less afraid to share their stories with me and less afraid to ask questions but it requires more effort to keep them focused.