Phase 3: Developing Your Presentation

The last step is to create a presentation for a committee of state legislators to persuade them that the team’s plan for a new holiday should be adopted. The role of the committee will be played by a group of teachers and students from our class. You might consider enlisting the support of a few other teachers to participate by listening to the presentations and being part of the “committee.” 

  1. Review the rules and expectations for brainstorming with students if necessary. Remind them that all ideas are accepted and recorded. Then give the teams time to generate ideas about what they want their celebrations to be like. Encourage teams to model their ideas after the holidays researched in Phase 1 and be sure they incorporate the qualities of their explorer identified in Phase 2. 
  2. The process of evaluating ideas against a list of criteria might be new for your students. Discuss ways they might come up with criteria. Share a few specific things they might consider (from the list on the student instruction page), and perhaps work as a whole group to list some other options. Remind students that they must be persuasive, so the criteria should be selected from the legislator’s point of view, not necessarily their own.
  3. Each group will then create a list of criteria for evaluating their celebration ideas. They will then use your criteria to narrow their list of ideas.
  4. Next, each group will begin to design their holiday celebration using the Phase 3 Data Chart. Help them keep the celebration realistic and focused. They can think big and be creative, but it is easy to go off on a tangent and forget the purpose of the celebration is to honor a famous person, not just to have a big party. Help them remember to keep their choices relevant to honoring their explorer.
  5. Explain the requirements for the oral presentation:
    • The oral presentation must involve all members of the group 
    • It must last between 5 and 10 minutes 
    • You must make a persuasive argument for both your selection of explorer and your design of the celebration 
    • You must incorporate some technology into your presentation. This could include word processing, a graph made with Excel, a PowerPoint slide show, using Inspiration to create your visual , etc. 
    • Your presentation must have one visual. This could be a map, picture of the explorer, poster, chart, PowerPoint, etc. 
  6. Remind students that they will be turning in their folders at the end with the following items:
    • A written outline of your presentation 
    • Data charts from Phase 1 and Phase 2 
    • Group notes and brainstorming from Phase 3 
    • Bibliography slips including all sources used during your research 
    • A map showing the explorer’s voyages 


As an alternative to each team developing a separate celebration, the presentations could focus simply on the selection of the most worthy explorer to honor, and then the class could work as a large group to plan a celebration—each team might then be responsible for one aspect of planning