Poster Sessions are a time where students or teachers can share their work and knowledge around a specific topic. During poster sessions, students not only have the chance to share their work, but can interact with the work of their peers or the teacher to observe, discuss, and ask questions about the topic being presented. This strategy is a classroom protocol in EL Education and pairs well with the Gallery Walk strategy.
Divide students into small groups. The number of students in the group should depend on how big the topic or activity is.
Assign each group either a specific topic or activity that is its own entity (i.e. the atmosphere) or a topic that is a subtopic over a broad topic or idea (i.e. Broad Topic: Branches of Government, Individual Group Topic: Legislative Branch).
Have the students work collaboratively to either research the topic or complete the activity. Have students utilize their prior knowledge and new understanding gained from research and collaboration to create a poster. The poster should include key points and visuals that each member of the group will reference to teach to the class.
Have students hang their posters around the room and stand with their groups.
Regroup students so that one member from each group is still standing with their original poster, and the other members of the group move to other posters to become listeners or observers.
For example, if students are in groups of 4, one student stays with the original poster, while the other 3 students from that poster move to 3 other posters to listen to presentations of posters they did not create.
Have the group member who has stayed at their poster share about the information on the poster to the rest of the new members in the group. Rotate around the room clockwise until every student has gotten to share to their new group members about their poster.
The students listening to the presentation should each ask a question to the student presenting and should also take notes on their scorecard, rubric, or a sheet of paper based on the teacher's preference.
Optional: Once posters are done, students could participate in a Gallery Walk to review their peers' work. To learn more about Gallery Walks, consult the "Gallery Walk" strategy.
To learn more about the EL Education protocol, consult page 27 of this EL Education Poster Session Protocol resource
Students can share their learnings with their classmates during a virtual class meeting using a variety of presentation tools.
Determine whether students will work independently or in groups. If they will work in groups, determine how students will develop their poster presentation virtually. Some options include:
If students are working synchronously, you could have them work together in teacher-directed virtual breakout rooms (only possible in Zoom for now), separate small group sessions via different links if using a tool such as GoogleMeet or in a shared written space such as a google doc using commenting features.
If students are working asynchronously and virtually, you could have them develop a shared google doc or shared space where they can place their assigned part of the work and provide feedback to each other.
If students have limited or no access to technology, they can create physical posters and text a photo of them to their teacher for feedback, or submit the photo via Remind or ClassDojo, both of which are accessible via a phone. The teacher can then give feedback to the student(s) via a phone call or via mail.
Create a video or model for students how to demonstrate their learning using a tech tool that could be shared virtually. Some examples (which are included in the resource section below) in order of ease of use include:
If students are developing their presentations in groups, make sure that each student has an assigned role in developing and presenting their learnings in order to ensure equity. Consult BetterLesson's Student Roles: Democratizing Group Work strategy below for guidance and resources.
At an agreed upon class video conference meeting time have each student or student group present their posters
If students are presenting their posters asynchronously, make sure they are aware of how to record a video of themselves sharing their posters and then, if using an LMS, how to upload their poster presentations to the LMS or GoogleClassroom. Some student-friendly video recording tools include Loom and Screencastify. Tutorials for both are included below.
Padlet and Flipgrid are also possible tools to use as they present an ease of recording for students. Also, both tools allow students to share their screen when sharing a video
While each group or individual student presents, have the rest of the class complete a reflection or feedback sheet.
Students can share feedback with the presenter(s) aloud immediately after each presentation or they can share their feedback in writing by completing a teacher-generated feedback form which the teacher can create using googleforms or a googledoc.
Consult BetterLesson's Giving and Receiving Peer Feedback strategy included below for guidance and resources.
Group Presentations are used as an instructional routine in the Open Up Math Curriculum. Students work collaboratively to solve a problem using mathematical modeling, to invent something, or to collect and display data and then create a visual representation of their work. It is important for the teacher to support students to visually organize their information or representations in such a way that other students can understand their work. At the end of the group presentations, strategically ask questions question to make connections and support a development of the mathematical learning.
1. Determine when Group Presentations are used as an instructional routine within the Open Up Math Curriculum. This curriculum requires a free log-in.
2. Provide students with an opportunity to engage in group work. Students could work collaboratively to solve a problem, invent a new problem, design something, or collect and display data.
3. After students have engaged in the activity, they will create a visual representation of their work.
Be sure to support students to organize their visual representations in a way that other students in the class can understand their work.
It may be helpful to providence sentence starters when appropriate.
4. Have students present their work or having students circulate and look at the posters.
5. Help students make connections and synthesize the learning. A great way to do so is to ask strategic questions.
Here is an 8th Grade Example of Group Presentations from Open Up Resources, which require a free login and password to access.
For English Learners, it may help to provide these students with a template to write down their talking points about the poster, so they can prepare to share out with their group.
It might also be helpful to provide question and feedback stems for them to use as they ask questions about their peers' posters. Possible question and feedback stems include:
I liked... about this piece because...
My favorite word/phrase you used was... because...
This section reminded me of...
I agree with... Because...
I was confused when...
Why did you include...
How could you use this strategy on a consistent basis in your classroom?
How could you introduce this strategy to your class?
How could you modify this strategy to meet the needs of all students?
Thinglink is a digital tool that allows users to turn images into an interactive graphic, linking to various pictures, maps, outside links, videos, etc.
Thinglink supports Poster Sessions by providing students with a digital, interactive poster that students can then share with their peers.