Last year, I decided to make a change. I started during African American History Month. I still had my students do a research project, but I asked them to change the presentation format of it. We made a class Freedom Quilt (My class was so large, that we actually made two). I gave students the dimensions for their square. The quilts came out beautiful, my students were still able to do their research, and my room was not overtaken by poster boards. Here is a link to a freebie containing my directions, parent letter, and grading rubric.
This past November, I assigned Diorama's for students to showcase their work and placed the shoeboxes in the hallway on a table. Once again, it was a change from the poster boards and everything came out lovely. Our next research project will be for Women's History Month and I am in the process of coming up with a different presentation format for that as well. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. While I don't know what we'll use, I do know that it will not be a poster board.