>I know that showing examples is a very common practice and it works because our brains are wired with an instinct to imitate experts. This is especially true when things are not explained well and we don't know how to do something before."
This is a great point and it reminds me of a time I had with some first graders. I can't remember the exact wording of what I said but what I MEANT was, line your art work up against the wall on the floor so it can dry. Being good little first graders they did exactly what they were told. I looked and 25 elmers glue bottles were lined neatly up against the wall drying very nicely.
I don't always explain things well, sometimes think I am and then have to say wait let me rephrase that :-) or more often than not let "me show you" it works the other way too because often I have to say to a student "can you show me?"