This process got me thinking that this would make for a great lesson plan! Students have to think critically about various figures in history to seat them at a table with things they have in common. It makes for a great review after presenting information on a lot of people. Here are 2 I've used in World History that you can download and 1 from US History:
One of the most difficult units for my World History II students is the Enlightenment. There are a lot of very similar people they need to know, all with difficult names. This Enlightenment Salon Party is a fantastic way for students to process their learning. I first present the important figures of the Enlightenment in this powerpoint you can download for free here. Here are some sample images from the powerpoint:
This next lesson on the French Revolution has students place 8 key figures like Robespierre and Louis XVI in a way that keeps the dinner from turning into a "reign of terror". Besides just identifying people as Jacobins or monarchists, students must make connections between various ideas and philosophies. The lesson includes 8 short biographies students can read in groups and discuss. Here are some sample images from this lesson:
Gilded Age Dinner Party that includes both Robber Barons and Progressives. Like in the French Revolution lesson, students read biographies of 8 people and must think critically to seat them next to others and justify their seating arrangements.