Chris Rowan and Anne Jefferson at Highly Allochthonous, inspired by Randall Munroe (of xkcd fame) decided to try and explain their geoscience research using only the 1000 most common English words (find the list here). I think they both did fantastic jobs. Inspired by them, I give it a shot:
I study the bodies of small, water-animals that lived in the past (~several hundred years ago) and use them as keys to understand how the water they grew in was like: was it hotter or colder back then? Was that body of water heavier or lighter than it is today? How did it come to be what it is like today? These questions matter because water is a very important part of our lives (it gives us food and it plays with the wind and the rain). We can study the past changes in the water and then expect how it will change in the time to come.
I think exercises like this go a long way. So try it out yourself: The Up-Goer Five Text Editor.