PowerPoint templates for students

I really don’t like assignments to “do a PowerPoint presentation” for kids who are not expert at all on their subjects — there is too much room for too much unintentional mischief when people who know little about a topic are to use a tool designed for people who know too much about a topic.

Among other things, kids who have never had to do a five-page report, nor an outline of a report, do not have the experience to stick to five bullets of less than five words per slide. And don’t get me going on “fireworks” animation of letters to explain things like the death of Medgar Evers, or the evils of child labor.

But if you want some ideas, the Paducah, Kentucky, school system offers some templates for student reports, and a few presentations teachers could use as foundations, here at “Connecting Teachers and Students.” There is advice, too. *

Use these as starting points, please. If you can’t improve on them, you’re not trying (no offense, Paducah — I hope).

A good exercise for you would be to spend an hour reading suggestions from Presentation Zen, and then edit a couple of those presentations from Paducah to make them more, um, zen reflective.

Remember, “template” is just a part of “contemplate.”

(I hope I don’t regret having pointed out that Paducah site to you.)

Update, November 24, 2007: Take a look at the video included in this post to see an effective use of a presentation tool like PowerPoint — though this one was done with Apple’s Keynote. Check the links in the post, too.
Update March 8, 2008:  Paducah’s school district archived the PowerPoint stuff.  I have changed the links above to link to the archive sites.  I replaced “www” with “old” in the URL.

7 Responses to PowerPoint templates for students

  1. […] Posted on February 6, 2009 by myofficebuzz I came across a web site with interesting ideas for using templates to teach students how to use PowerPoint. I am glad  more and more sites are appearing that emphasize that, despite how user-friendly […]


  2. mpb says:

    Wikimedia (not pedia but linked) also has stuff for use, but there may not be powerpoint templates per se. Increasingly, the open source software is gaining use (non-MS) which would work in MS. Of course, I can’t remember the open source names at the moment.


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Check the Microsoft templates on line. About three years ago I got a great template that looks like the desk of a slightly absent-minded botanist, with drawings and photos of flowers. It’s almost ideal for Darwin.

    Why not a map of Korea? Get a map in color, with the ocean about the same intensity of color as the land, and use that. You can also edit the master (go to “View,” and then to “Master – slides”) to color the boxes of the headline and comments on the slides, to put a semi-transparent background to make the words stand out.

    Don’t use a Korean flag without some modification. The dark red and blue against white would make it about impossible to get a font color that works.

    And always, I recommend if you want to make it a great presentation, wander over to Presentation Zen and see what’s cooking there. In fact, this post has a sample slide show from Garr Reynolds that will make you wonder why you should even bother. Steal ideas from him:


  4. Jake says:

    I Kinda need a powerpoint template for the Korean war, as well as one for Charles Darwin,

    Any ideas?


  5. Onkel Bob says:

    I think the best advice is to change the back ground (bright white hurts!) skip the formaggi (that’s the animation cheese) and build your own graphic organizers. Save the latter as gif and use it as the background.
    Also watch the contrast and sizing. I noticed that some of those recommended slides use a blue background with black text, bad choice! You want to keep the lights on in the class room so contrast and font size must accommodate that practice.
    Clear and to the Point by Stephen Kosslyn is a good text for reference.
    As a geographer, may I add that maps make everything better :^) UT’s Perry-Castañeda Library has many maps. Nasa’s visibleearth.gov is another great site.
    For my lectures I lead off with a slide that states the 4 things the audience will know after the lecture, a map of the area I will discuss, then the body of the lecture. I then end with the same 4 things slide and ask whether they paid attention.
    I see this is an old post that was updated…


  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Arslan, Paducah archived its old stuff, here:


  7. arslan says:

    plz give me templates


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