Reflections after fair

It’s important to do some reflection activities with youth to help them strengthen the experience they had at fair.

The Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development program encourages volunteers, teenagers and parents to use the Experiential Learning Model throughout the 4-H program. This model is based on the concept of experiential learning. Having youth participate in hands-on learning is the foundation for 4-H. Fair is one place 4-H members and youth are demonstrating experiential learning.

The three parts of the Experiential Learning Model are do, reflect and apply. This article focuses on the reflect step in the model. Reflection can be done in many different ways. Reflection starts with asking youth and adults purposeful questions about their experiences.

Reflection can happen in many different forms. It can happen one-on-one or it could be in a club or group setting. Parents could easily have reflection time around a dinner table or talking with youth while in the car. In a group setting, leaders or teens could organize some intentional activities to get youth thinking about their experiences. University of Wisconsin Extension put together a great list of group activities that focus on reflection and questions to ask.

Reflection can be verbal, like a discussion, or it could be written. Youth may want to reflect differently in different settings. It is important to give youth the option on how they want to reflect on their experiences. Filling out a record book or writing are great ways for youth to reflect on their experiences.

Questions that could be asked about fair:

  • What part of participating at the fair was the hardest?   
  • What was one thing you learned from showing at the fair?
  • How did it feel to show against your friends at the fair?
  • What surprised you about showmanship classes?
  • What might you do differently next year?

To learn more about reflection and how to get involved in 4-H, visit your local MSU Extension office.

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