Looking for an oral presentation activity, but hate student speeches? Try a poster presentation. It’s an awesome fluency activity that keeps students talking and engaged.
ESL Activity Introduction
This English lesson, about 40-60 minutes, works great as a replacement for the old boring student speeches. You know, one student struggles at the front of class to speak about a topic. The rest of the class, and sometimes the teacher, struggle to stay awake.
Everything about this lesson is different and better. The description below is in two parts. Section 1 contains instructions for students. Section 2 contains more detailed notes for lesson plan implementation.
1 Student Notes
We’re going to do a poster presentation activity. Here is what each students needs to do:
- Choose a topic that you are interested in. Choose a topic that is fun, interesting and informative.
- Stay away from simple topics like, “My hometown.”
- Do some research and write a script. Create a 2-4 minute talk.
- Make a poster. One A4 piece of paper is probably too small. If you tape four pages together you can make a good size poster for little or no cost. You don’t need to buy special poster paper.
- Placing a few pictures on the poster is a good way to create interest.
- Writing a few words on the poster is okay. Don’t write your whole script though.
- On presentation day, you are going to talk about your topic and teach the other students something.
2 Teacher Notes
I usually give students 2 to 3 weeks notice before running the activity in class. This gives them plenty of time to choose a topic and prepare materials.
On presentation day, be sure to bring some to class.
Here is one way to run the activity:
- Divide the class into two groups, A and B.
- Group A students tape their posters to the walls and whiteboard. Ask students to spread out as much as possible because the room can get noisy.
- Group A students stand beside their posters.
- Group B students mingle with Group A students, one on one.
- Group A students talk about topic. They use the poster to highlight points or even remember what they need to say.
- Group B students listen and ask questions (I require a minimum of two questions).
- Teacher mingles and monitors discussions, provides encouragement for lower level students.
Expect an average of 2 to 3 minutes of talk time per poster. Once the conversation dies out, call for a break. Group A students remove their posters. Group B students put up their posters.
Repeat the presentation and mingling process.
I use a rudimentary assessment system: total score total 10 points.
The Poster – up to 3 points
I tell students the poster is a means to summarizing the topic and main points. It doesn’t not need to be amazing, nor does it require a great deal of time, effort or expense. So I grade like this:
- 3 – the student did a wonderful job, a great deal of care and attention is evident, it’s colorful, attractive and stimulates interest
- 2 – it’s good, it does the job, some evidence of effort and organisation, satisfactory
- 1 – incomplete, it looks like it was made 5 minutes before the activity started
The Presentation – up to 7 points
- 7 – fabulous oral presentation and interesting topic, lots of eye contact with students, thoughtful and informative
- 6 – good job, not the best, but satisfactory, perhaps too much reading from the poster
- 5 – the topic is simple or not well researched, the student seems unprepared, just adequate
- 4 or less – incomplete, poor topic choice, reads from the poster too much, little engagement with listeners, not much evidence of research, not much to learn
Save time. Teach well.
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