The Festival Presentation: Making Classroom Presentations Interactive and Fun

Angela S. Chiu, Part-time university instructor in Aichi

Quick Guide

Key words: Presentation, classroom interaction, big class
Learner English Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Learner Maturity Level: Junior high school to Adult
Preparation Time: Varies
Activity Time: 2-3 lessons, 90 minutes each
Materials: Posters, presentation props, evaluations sheets, and foodstuffs

In my past experience with classroom presentations, usually the presenters stumbled through their long and formally written presentation speeches, while the rest of the class would try hard to stay awake. Things are quite different in our recent presentations since the university festival at my university gave me an idea for making classroom presentations more fun and interactive.


Step 1: Divide the class into two groups.

Step 2: In the first week of presentations one group of students is given the title Presenters while the other group of students is called Customers; during the second week the roles are reversed.

Step 3: Pair up presenters.

Step 4: Inform the presenters that they will have to research a topic and prepare a short speech. Note: This speech will be given by the students to every customer who comes to the booth.

Step 5: Inform the presenters that they will need to prepare materials to decorate their booths.

Step 6: On the day of the presentation, the presenters are given a table as one would during the normal school festival. This table will serve as their booth.

Step 7: The presenters will need to decorate their booths with posters and fun decorations that might attract customers.

Step 8: Customers should ask questions regarding the speech and the booth.

Step 9: At the end of the presentations, the customers have the role of evaluating the best one. Give the students a sheet of paper with questions for students to answer (see Presentation Evaluation Sheet, Appendix 1).

Step 10: Ask one student to calculate the scores from everyone's Presentation Evaluation Sheets.

Step 11: The group with the highest score is given a small prize. You can give alternative prizes for other things like the most original, most creative, etc.

One particularly successful version of this activity was the International Festival. Students presented on the theme of their favorite country. In their booths, some students made a variety of finger food, some were teaching various languages, playing different music. . .and the interaction was all done in English! Of course, the preparation we all put into the festival was immense but we all had a great time and most important of all, students all learned a great deal from each other. Most of them felt proud that they could also carry out such an elaborate project in English.

Appendix 1

Presentation Evaluation Sheet
Booth Name:
Poor OK Good Excellent
How was this booth? 5 10 15 20
How was this group's speech? 5 10 15 20
How were this group's posters? 5 10 15 20
Total Points: