Poster Presentation – Modified

Finding good activities for large classes is not easy.

Recently at the KOTESOL conference I was speaking with a friend of mine, a prolific blogger, about one thing or another. He told me about the success he had with poster presentations. Intrigued I asked, “What’s a poster presentation?”

Apparently this is when each student in class creates a poster of their life, interests, weekend, etc. When all posters are completed half the students stand up around the class holding their poster. The other half of the class walks around observing and asking questions of the “presenter”. After some time the class flips roles.

I thought this was a neat idea, but struggled to think how I could implement it with a large class (30+) on a once a week meeting schedule.

What I decided to try was to have groups of 3 and 4 create a 4-way poster. Each group divided a poster into 3/4 sections and created their own part of the poster. Then I had groups stand and present as a whole.

Now while this did not give each student as much talking time as with a solo presentation, I found the students actively listening to each other speaking. Low level students could hear a question to the first member of the group and work to reform that same question to the second, third or fourth member. In addition, the students might have felt more comfortable and confident standing with their group rather than alone.

A second modification

A different mod i tried was with my daily, much smaller, conversation class. We were working on the past progressive tense. I had the students take out their phones and choose their favorite picture with family, friends, pets, etc.  Half the class held their phones while the others inquired into who and where it was taken. What were they doing in the picture, and so on.

This again seemed to gain people interest, take them out of themselves and begin to interact with the language on a more real (whatever that means) level.

All in all a general success.

Some things to consider next time. Creation time could be cut in order to increase amount of time for sharing. Regarding pictures and phones, students could use more guidance on what a good picture for sharing might be. In doing so more pertinent language should come out.




3 thoughts on “Poster Presentation – Modified

  1. Another twist with the poster presentation is to try to create a “Yearbook” for the school at the end of the academic year. You collate all things that the students have created during the year, pictures and scanned images of their work (writing, posters, etc) and then create a yearbook for the school to publish. If you are able to, get it published and printed and then hand it out at the end of the year to all the kids or students and make sure that the parents have a copy. It’s a great marketing tool and the students get really enthusiastic with their work if they see it published.

    When I worked at the British Council in Bucharest, the Centre created their own Yearbook for the young learners and published it. The book featured all the work the students had completed over the course of the year (topics and themes about the Egyptians, posters about their family, the life-cycle of a frog and other related CLIL activities), and got it written up in Word. They then sent it to a publisher who then printed it and the students took it home and gave it to their parents. It is a wonderful idea and I definitely recommend recording all your students’ work over the year for a yearbook or school magazine.

  2. Another little twist. Have the students do it in groups, and just as you described they split the poster into 1/4s. The twist is, they are not allowed to draw their own part of the poster or present about themselves. They must describe themselves to other members of the group who will draw and present about them.

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