Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, learning how to use PowerPoint is worth your time since it can help you make interactive lesson materials for kids.
Young children have short attention spans which could be a problem when it comes to learning. This is why teaching preschoolers requires a lot of activities that would appear as fun games to them1.
The problem becomes more severe when a child has dyslexia or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). If this is the case, you’ll need to think of a different way for the child to learn since traditional teaching methods probably won’t work.
One of these ways would be creating interactive lesson materials using Microsoft PowerPoint. This software is often known as a presentation maker. But it actually has a lot of features that you’ll be able to use to make interactive learning aids.
If you’re interested in learning how to do this, continue reading below.
Step 1: Outline Your Lesson
If you’re a teacher, you might already have a lesson plan prepared. If you’re a parent who’s looking into creating a personalized lesson material for your child, you may want to begin with this step.
Here’s an example lesson outline.
LESSON: Learning Animal Names
- Identifying animals by images
- Reading animals names in English
TARGET VOCABULARY: cat, dog, pig, cow, bat
- Sing and dance warm-up
- Introducing the animals using images and their names
- Individually identify the animals and spelling their names
- Short quiz
The lesson outline will help you through the process of making your lesson. It will also be easier to create the next lessons since you’ve established your objectives.
Step 2: Prepare the Materials You Need
Now that you’ve outlined your lesson, you’ll need to gather the materials (or files) that you need to make the PowerPoint lesson.
Based on Step 1’s example lesson outline, here are the materials needed.
- Images of the animals (additional images like happy faces or congratulatory messages will also come in handy)
- Sound files of the animal’s sounds and/or names (you can record your voice if you like)
- A warm-up sing and dance video to excite the child like One Little Finger (you can embed videos in PowerPoint from online sources like YouTube)
- PowerPoint templates that are colorful and child-friendly. You can use the provided templates in the software or download free ones from sites like Free-power-point-templates and Slidehunter.
It’s best to keep them organized by renaming them and sorting them into folders. It’ll be easier to make your lesson material this way.
Step 3: Begin Making Your Slides
Open PowerPoint on your computer and begin creating your slides. You can add as many slides as you want. Again, based on the example lesson outline from Step 1, you’ll see examples of the slides you can include in interactive material.
The Title Slide
This should clearly state the lesson you’ll be teaching in your material. You can add more images to make it more appealing to children.
The Warm-up Slide
To embed an online video, go to the “Insert” tab and click on “Video” in the Media section. From there, you can insert an online video or a video saved on your computer.
The Lesson Content Slides
This will all depend on your creativity and the flow of the lesson. Using animations, you can create each slide interactive for kids. Let’s use this slide as an example.
You’ll see that this is an ordinary slide with an image of a cat. You can create a copy of the cat’s image and edit it to become uncolored.
Insert the image in the slide where you added the colored cat image. Right-click on the image and click on “Send to Back”
You’ll see that the black and white image will disappear. Now, click on the colored cat image and go to the “Animations” tab. Here, you can add animations for that image.
Make sure that you set the animation trigger to “On Click”. This will give the child the chance to click on the image or slide to trigger the animation. It’s advisable to add sound effects as well.
This will make it appear as if the child has just colored in the cat’s image with a simple click.
You can add audio files as well by going to the “Insert” tab and clicking on “Audio” in the Media section. Here, you have the option to record or insert an audio media file. Adding an audio file with a voice saying “CAT” or the animal’s sound will make the lesson an even more wonderful experience for a young child.
The Short Quiz Slides
Of course, after the lesson, you’ll need to give a short quiz to see if the child has successfully reached the target objectives of the lesson.
You can also make this as interactive as you can using images, videos, audio files, and animations.
Here’s an idea that you can use for a short quiz.
This slide requires the child to click on the correct animal that matches the word on the upper right. Now, you’ll need to create two more slides – one would be the “correct” slide and the other is the “wrong/try again” slide.
Now, you’ll need to hyperlink the correct slides to each of the images in the question slide you made. On the left side, choose “Place in the Document”. Refer to the slide names or numbers that you’ll see in the Slide Tab that’s on the leftmost side of PowerPoint to know which slide to hyperlink.
You can add “buttons” hyperlinking to the next questions if you want to add more questions to your short quiz.
Step 4: Test It Out
Before you use the lesson material you’ve made to teach kids, it’s best to test it out first. Make sure that it works. There’s a big chance that a child would become frustrated and your hard work will all go to waste.
You can test out different animations and add slide transitions as well. Check if the animations you added to the images are working as they should and that the hyperlinks in your quiz go to the correct slides.
It Can be Time-Consuming, but it’s Worth the Effort
Making these lesson materials with PowerPoint can take so much time and effort. But seeing the smiles on children’s faces as they go through a fun and interactive lesson will be worth the effort of creating them.
These can also be done for older students. You just need to use different PowerPoint templates, images, and other media files that’ll fit their age group and lessons. Use your imagination and hone your PowerPoint skills to make even better interactive lesson materials.