Posters can be designed is such a way that the project comes to include multiple tasks. Teachers can ask students to build a poster in order to demonstrate mastery over any topic. Say the class has just finished a unit about hobbies. The teacher can ask students to build a poster that illustrates their favorite free-time activities. The poster must include both visuals and a narrative. The visuals can be either hand-drawn or be illustrations cut out of a magazine. Students who are strongly visual will usually do a great job illustrating their hobbies, while those who fall more into the read/write learning style will focus more on the written narrative. Students should be required to use recently studied vocabulary and sentence structures so that the assignment becomes a way to reinforce and demonstrate what they have learned so far. It may be a good idea to scaffold students at the beginning of the project by providing relevant vocabulary and sentence structure lists along with the instructions. The students are also required to memorize their narratives and then present their posters to the class. It’s not important that they memorize verbatim what they wrote. It is more a question of showing that they are able to talk competently about a topic. Aurally-inclined students will find that reading their narrative aloud multiple times will assist them with memorization. The visuals will also work as memory aids during the presentation. Teachers can also decide to devote some class time to presentation practice, thus satisfying the needs of those students who learn best with others. Because this is a hands-on project, it will also appeal to kinesthetic learners by allowing them to put what they learned into practice. Finally, to make sure the whole class is paying attention during presentations, the teacher should require that all students ask at least a few questions after each presentation.
Similar to posters, role play involves a multiplicity of skills and can therefore satisfy the needs of different learners. Like with posters, the early part of the project should be devoted to making sure students have the vocabulary and grammar needed. The first step in roleplay is writing a script for it. Because roleplay involves more than one student at a time, this is typically a collaborative project. Some students will love the idea of working with others, while some will dislike it. The teacher should group the students in such a way that each team has a diverse pool of talent. Students should first brainstorm (decide on a storyline, assign roles, etc.) and then collaboratively write the script by using an online document (like Google docs.) There will be a first draft of the script that can be peer-reviewed first and then approved by the teacher. Once students have their script, they can start rehearsing it. Until they are able to recite the script by memory, they can make use of notecards, clues, and suggestions from their team.
It’s easy to see how roleplay can appeal to a variety of learning styles. Aural, read/write, kinesthetic, and social learners will probably enjoy it the most.
Naturally, there will be students who don’t enjoy writing at all or really dislike the idea of performing in front of others. Although they should not be excused from tasks they don’t like, the teacher may consider entrusting to them additional roles that they might enjoy more in order to give them something to look forward to. A student may for instance be in charge of stage props. One may use the classroom whiteboard to draw a background for the roleplay, etc. These tasks also have the advantage of being appealing to visual learners.