In this kind of situation, two or three students work on a health related topic such as obesity in children, diabetes, or anorexia nervosa. Other times, the topics might relate to endangered species or environmental problems.
Benefits of Poster Presentations
These are skills they need for the real world, for future academic classes and for work. Non English speakers often say they have team work skills, but don't really know how to explain what that means. Giving them the experience of preparing this type of poster presentation allows them to honestly report that they have indeed worked as part of a team in English. They can then describe what they did and how they did it.
Preparing to give a poster presentation requires time and commitment on the part of the group members as students need to work together both in class and out of class.
First, group members need to divide their topic into sections with each member taking responsibility for a specific area. The students then do research on their part of the topic and report back to each other on what they have gathered so far. I often provide them with specific websites they can go to where they will find material on their topic that they can actually read and understand.
On presentation days, the posters are set up in different parts of the room, and the presenters discuss a particular aspect of their general topic, using their poster to help them with be comfortable with the content and vocabulary. The "audience," which is usually only three or four students, move from poster presentation to poster presentation. They can go back and read the information on the posters or ask specific questions to the presenters.
Example of Poster Presentations: