As described in the attached document, students were required to have a pretty good idea of the topics they would cover along with literature references by midway through the semester (Fall break). I reviewed their references and redirected where needed to ensure the presenation would cover the basics of the given area and some of the more common examples of reactions and mechanisms. It took a little work to help students find appropriate topics from the literature and narrow things down (my students did not object to my comment that a entire course could focus on something like organolithium chemistry!). I had them keep in mind that the purpose of the project was not to cover everything, but rather to just give their classmates a "feeling" for the given area. To help the students understand my expectations, I did a lecture on calcium chemistry in a similar manner to which I expected them to present material.
I've attached an example of some slides and homework questions that some of the students developed for aluminum chemistry. The slides may seem somewhat incomplete because the students also made use of the white board while delivering their presentation.