How to Spice Up Your PowerPoint Lesson Plans
Computer and business technology teachers often seek us out when trying to find PowerPoint lesson plans. While using PowerPoints to present material can be engaging, actually teaching how to use PowerPoint can sometimes fall short of the "engaging" label. With so many teachers asking us about PowerPoint lesson plans, we asked why they decided to give us a try. Here's what one teacher's exact words were: "I'm trying to find a way to spice up the Word and PowerPoint curriculum."
So how do you teach PowerPoint? Everyone and their brother on Google wants to tell you all about how to teach USING PowerPoint. (There are some great articles and tips out there.) But no one wants to help you actually teach students HOW to use it.
Before you despair...there are a few places you can go for PowerPoint lesson plans.
Powerful PowerPoint Lessons for Middle School Students
There are several options for good PowerPoint lesson plans for middle school and high schools students. One option is Microsoft’s own Microsoft IT Academy Program. Here you’ll find customizable Microsoft PowerPoint lesson plans. You will also find all sorts of valuable information and content for developing and refining your own computer applications lesson plans for Microsoft PowerPoint. You can also check out Microsoft in Education for some great ideas.
GCF Learn Free has some great lessons for both PowerPoint 2010 and PowerPoint 2013 that you could assign to your students. There are videos and walkthroughs for many of the basics, each organized by what skill is being taught.
If you have never used Teachers Pay Teachers, this is a great time to look into it. It is a great resource if you have a little bit of time and don’t mind spending a few dollars. There are a number of Microsoft PowerPoint lesson ideas on the site. It will take a little digging, but you might find one that you can add to your classroom.
Keep in mind that to properly teach your students about Microsoft PowerPoint, you need more than just lessons. It’s important that you give your students actual activities that will use the skills and knowledge they gain from your Microsoft PowerPoint lesson plans.
When searching for Microsoft Practice activities, I found a treasure trove of resources that other teachers have put together.
Again I will suggest that you spend a little bit of time on Teachers Pay Teachers to find activities and ideas for your students. It’s all about knowing what to search for.
More Powerful PowerPoint Lesson Plans
Another option is our own Business&ITCenter21. In this system, students will begin by learning the fundamentals of Microsoft PowerPoint. This includes adding slides, changing slide views and themes, spell checking, creating text boxes, adding WordArt, inserting clip art and audio clips, and defining hyperlinks and Action Buttons. Students will also learn how to create effective presentations and practice skills through several hands on activities.
They’ll begin with the Introduction to Microsoft PowerPoint unit where students will learn how to use basic features of Microsoft PowerPoint and how to create effective presentations. Specific topics covered include: themes, views, slide layout, clip art, photographs, spell checking and audio clips. They’ll do that in these lessons:
Lesson 1- Microsoft PowerPoint Tour
- Define Multimedia Presentation
- Recognize parts of the screen
- Create a blank presentation
- Create a presentation from a template
- Adjust PowerPoint views
- Change the theme
Lesson 2- Microsoft PowerPoint Basics
- Insert a slide
- Change a slide layout
- Insert and format Clip Art
- Insert and format graphics
- Insert and adjust audio clips
- Insert photographs from a file
- Move and resize pictures
- Perform spell checking
Lesson 3- Effective Presentations
- Describe several tips used to create effective presentations
Then they’ll move on to the Text Boxes, Links, & Graphics unit. Students will continue learning the basics of PowerPoint through two hands on assignments. Specifically, students will learn about text boxes, clip art, shapes, WordArt, hyperlinks, and Action Buttons. Students will download and use images from a ZIP file and create a PowerPoint Photo Album with captions. To achieve that, they’ll do this:
- Use textboxes and WordArt
- Define hyperlinks
- Insert Action Buttons
Lesson 2 – Game Show, Part 2
- Use textboxes and WordArt
- Use clip art
Lesson 3 – Photo Album
- Download and unzip an image file
- Create a Photo Album using external images
- Change the layout of several photos
- Add captions to describe the photos
- Add shapes, including callouts, to enhance the photos
Teachers and students can follow the Fundamentals module up with the Microsoft PowerPoint Skills Project and the Microsoft PowerPoint Business Project modules.
In the Skills Project, students create a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation from scratch. Students select a topic, define their objectives and start building a presentation. Students will follow a defined process for planning and creating presentations. Along the way they will learn new PowerPoint skills covering areas such as creating outlines, adjusting images, animations and transitions.
In the Business Project, the student assumes the role of an intern at the King Street Theater. The theater's owner asks the student create a presentation to be shown prior to the start of movies. The student creates the presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint.
In both projects, students are paced through the design, development, and production of their PowerPoint presentations.
The Best Resource for a PowerPoint Lesson Plan?
Use a combination of all these resources in developing your PowerPoint lesson plans. It’s likely that not one single source will get you what you need, for example, read this post, “Is Microsoft IT Academy Enough for Employers?”