Research worksheet and symbol tear-off slips included.
Print the symbol tear-off slips, cut about 3/4 up the page, and tape the sheets of tear-off slips to your white board. Students enter the class and see the slips, which builds interest in the project.
Introduce the project and ask one person from each small group to come to the front to claim their group's symbol. No repeat symbols per class.
I usually give one day for the initial small group research in class. If you have a dictionary of symbols, a student computer, a computer lab, or students with smart phones, then this time will be more productive.
The presentations are usually due about 3-4 days later. Depending on the size of your class, presentations could take more than one day.