PowerPoint – good ol’ PowerPoint. The tool that everyone uses, but never well.

Gone are the days of snooze-worthy slideshows and disengaged students. Instead, we can transform PowerPoint into an engaging and interactive tool that can enhance students’ learning experience. Let’s face it: PowerPoint has been overused and abused in classrooms worldwide. We’ve all seen those mind-numbing slides filled with never-ending bullet points and monotonous lectures. So, how did I make PowerPoint more engaging? I introduced a project in my ELA 20 class that would make even the most seasoned fairy tale characters jump with excitement. I challenged my students to create visual essays of explanation, focusing on escaping the pitfalls of a fairy tale.

We kicked boring text-heavy slides to the curb and embraced the power of multimedia. Images, videos, audio clips – you name it, my students incorporated it into their presentations. Suddenly, PowerPoint became a canvas for storytelling and self-expression. With animations, transitions, and narrations, my students breathed life into their ideas, captivating their classmates and me in the process.

Example from ELA 20:


Want to use this idea in your own classroom? Perfect! It connects to the following ELA 20 outcomes in the province of Saskatchewan:

  • CR 20.4: Read and demonstrate comprehension and appreciation of grade-appropriate informational (including instructions and procedural texts) and literary (including fiction, nonfiction, script, poetry, and essays) First Nations, Métis, Saskatchewan, Canadian, and international texts.
  • CC 20. 1: Create a range of visual, multimedia, oral, and written texts to explore:
    • identity (e.g., Relationships with Family and Others);
    • social responsibility (e.g., Evolving Roles and Responsibilities); and
    • social action (agency) (e.g., The Past and the Present).
  • CC 20.4: Create a variety of written informational (including an essay of explanation of a process, an application letter and résumé, and an argumentative or a persuasive essay) and literary (including a reflective or personal essay and an analysis of a literary text) communications.