U.S. History Poster Board Project Ideas


United States history provides students with numerous topics for a poster board project. Students typically start learning about U.S. history in depth by late elementary school. During middle and high school, students revisit U.S. history in greater depth. The age of the student will determine the text details on the poster, but combining some major U.S. history topics in one poster helps create a meaningful project.

People, Events, Places

  • State social studies standards usually list many specific people, events and places with which students should become familiar. After studying the specifics for the grade level, students can create a trifold poster board project that depicts their interpretation of the most influential people, events and places in U.S. history. Attach a banner spanning the top of the trifold that reads, "Greatest U.S. History Influences." One section -- titled "Who's Who?" -- can show images of people such as Abraham Lincoln with biographical information and facts that support his influence on U.S. history. Another section, "Major Events," might contain visuals and text about historically significant events. The final section, "U.S. Landmarks," could include text and visuals that explain the significance of U.S. landmarks such as Mount Rushmore or the Lincoln Memorial and the history behind them.

A Time Line Interactive

  • A poster board can also be used to create a U.S. history time line project. Divide U.S. history into several main categories and create a small picture representation for each. Under each picture, have an informative caption covered by a lift-up flap. On the flap that the viewer will lift to reveal the information, write the question "What historical event is this?" After attaching the visuals and captions to the poster board in rows, use painter’s or masking tape to create a timeline that connects each visual to the next, one row after the other. Label each visual with the correct span of years. The years of U.S. history might be categorized to cover early history to 1620, the colonial period to 1763, the Revolutionary War and early government to 1820, expansionism to 1850, the Civil War and reconstruction to 1877, the Industrial Revolution to 1914, the U.S. as a world power to 1920, the Depression and world wars to 1945 and the Cold War to present.

History from Sea to Shining Sea

  • A large poster board makes an impressive display for a map project. Many historical events as well as national historical landmarks are connected to specific locations that can be pinpointed on a map. Additionally, a map can use dates and colors to show how the country grew and expanded westward over time. After mounting or drawing a large outline U.S. map on the poster board, students can color code and label regions of the U.S. to show its growth over time, noting the size and shape of the country as it grew from colonial American to the Louisiana Purchase and westward expansion. Students then create small visuals with fact-filled captions to attach to the color-coded map at the locations of historically significant landmarks and events such as the Boston Tea Party and The World Trade Center attacks.

History Who’s Who

  • An interactive who’s who poster board makes an engaging project. Students can choose the most influential people from different eras of U.S. history such as the founding father Thomas Jefferson and Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin. A large title on the poster might read: "Who’s Who in U.S. History?" Unlabeled printed or hand-drawn portraits of each person can hang on the poster board, attached only at the top so that they can be lifted up. Underneath each poster is the person's name and a brief paragraph or list of facts that reveal the time frame each lived and his significance to U.S. history. Under each picture, students might add a clue such as: "This famous American was also a volunteer fireman" for Benjamin Franklin. Viewers of the poster attempt to guess the identity of the person and his contribution to U.S. history before lifting the portrait.

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