Thanksgiving Small Group Research Poster & Presentation
The Thanksgiving holiday usually means that students will have a few extra days off from school to spend time with their families, and it comes along in most American classrooms in the fall after most major crops are harvested. In order for students to have a better understanding of the Thanksgiving holiday, teachers can place them in small groups to make a research poster on Thanksgiving.
History of Thanksgiving & Harvest Celebrations
Begin this lesson by breaking students into small groups of three-to-four students. Each group will research a specific aspect about Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving traditions or Harvest Day Festivals. Each group will complete a poster that focuses on the one of the following topics:
- Ancient harvest celebrations
- Autumn Equinox
- Asian countries that celebrate the harvest
- European countries that celebrate the harvest
- South American countries that celebrate the harvest
- Other countries that celebrate the harvest
- George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s involvement in the declaration of the holiday
- Plymouth Colony story and Governor William Bradford
- The Native Americans, the Wampanoag Indians, and their role in the first harvest
- A teacher-approved Thanksgiving or harvest-themed topic
Steps to Complete Thanksgiving Research Poster & Presentation
Step 1: In order for each group to function, roles and individual tasks should be assigned. For the group, there are four basic roles:
- Group Leader: keep group organized and lead the presentation
- Research Leader: keep research notes organized and lead research efforts
- Poster Leader: keep parts of the poster organized and lead making the poster
- Art Leader: keep all parts of the artwork for the poster organized and lead making the artwork
Step 2: Choose a specific topic.
Step 3: Each person in the group should complete research and fill out at least one Note-Taking Graphic Organizer for Research. Every student should have at least two sources and information for the group topic.
Step 4: Look at the research they found and design a poster. Remember that the poster should be a summary of the research, or it should highlight what the group found in its research.
Step 5: The Artwork Leader and Poster Leader will coordinate efforts to complete the research. The Group Leader and Research Leader need to coordinate efforts for the group presentation of information.
Step 6: Practice your presentation. Each individual should have note cards and each person should speak during the presentation.
Step 7: Present your group poster to the class.
The Thanksgiving research poster can be assessed using a rubric. The criteria for the poster can be content, organization, team work, voice and eye contact, and visual aid.