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Lesson Plan

Designing Effective Poster Presentations

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Designing Effective Poster Presentations

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Seven 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Students design informational posters, focusing on a current research project. The unit includes an exploration of the genre, a review of informational writing components, and details on effective poster design. Students first analyze a variety of poster examples and list their characteristics, before reviewing the requirements for their own posters. Students then plan their poster design and, after rough drafts are completed, share them in groups and with the whole class for peer feedback. After revisions are made, students share their presentations with the class for additional feedback, and then make final revisions to their posters. Finally, students present their posters in class or at a school-wide research fair.

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Compare & Contrast Map: With this online tool, students map out their ideas for a compare and contrast essay using their choice of a whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point format. Finished work can be printed.

Persuasion Map
: Use this online tool to map out and print your persuasive argument. Included are spaces to map out your thesis, three reasons, and supporting details.

ReadWriteThink Notetaker: Using this online tool, students can organize, revise, and plan their writing, as well as take notes as they read and research.

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Poster sessions are a great way to ask students to share their knowledge about a topic. Because of their focus on presentation materials that go beyond simple text on a page, poster sessions require sophisticated multimodal literacy skills. The NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing explain, "Writers need to be able to think about the physical design of text, about the appropriateness and thematic content of visual images, about the integration of sound with a reading experience, and about the medium that is most appropriate for a particular message, purpose, and audience." Poster sessions focus on all of these multimodal skills, as they ask students to design presentation materials and accompanying presentations that blend text, images, sound, and space.

Further, because of the close and obvious relationship between presenter and audience, poster sessions foreground the importance of audience, purpose, and voice for students. As a result, poster sessions encourage students to synthesize their research and then adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language to fit the needs of a particular audience.

Further Reading

National Council of Teachers of English. 2004. Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing. October 2009. Web. http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/writingbeliefs

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