PowerPoint for Teaching Government

Published: 11th June 2010
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Do you struggle to explain the complexities of government to students during lessons? Do you find the attention of students wandering in classroom activities? Then it might be worthwhile to present your lesson plans with PowerPoint.

PowerPoint for teaching government offers an attractive bullet point and slideshow format. Lesson plans can be presented with sound and also with customized images. Putting presentations together for lessons is straightforward and PowerPoint lessons are among the most accessible of the educational technology available. PowerPoint has an easy-to-follow template and slides can be quickly added and deleted. Government PowerPoints can be used repeatedly. The colors and style of the presentation can be updated while retaining the content of lesson plans.

Government lesson plans are difficult to formulate for teachers, but PowerPoint lessons can also make this easier. The subject's various strands such as Branches of Government, the Federal System, Founding Documents as well as the complexities of Politics itself such as Hot Button Issues, Interest Groups and Watch Dogs, are often hard to coordinate for lessons. But PowerPoint's slideshow format offers a framework for teachers, and enables them to break down the information into a few lines and transmit it to students in clear and concise lesson plans.

PowerPoint is among the most popular of the latest educational technologies. This technology is increasingly used to present Social Studies lesson plans and U.S. History lesson plans and even World History lesson plans in classrooms. Before you start to use PowerPoints to present your lessons it is helpful to consult with colleagues to observe how they present lesson plans using this software. In the U.S. classroom PowerPoint presentations are frequently used to present history, such as Revolutionary War lesson plans, American Revolution lesson plans and Cold War lesson plans.

Government PowerPoints can also be used to carry out activities during lessons. Tests, particularly multiple-choice tests, can be easily sent electronically to students and then received by the teacher and corrected in the same format after lessons.

However, for PowerPoints to effectively present lesson plans, it is critical that the format be used correctly. Teachers should not rely solely on educational technology during lessons but should incorporate book activities and oral activities as well.

It is important to prepare your lesson plans correctly with PowerPoint. Avoid using too many colors and try to avoid extremely bright colors as this could inhibit students' reading of the slides. This is also the danger with lesson plans presented with incorrect text contrast such as white writing on a pale yellow background. It is also advisable to use a text size of 30 or greater for maximum readability of lesson plans. Lastly, avoid using too many bullet points as this will saturate students during lessons while too few bullet points will not develop the lesson plan satisfactorily.

One great option for teachers is purchasing professionally-made PowerPoints. Classroom materials like these are available for easy internet download, or can be delivered homes and schools in CD and DVD format. They can be re-used every year, giving teachers a lot of mileage from a single purchase. Also, given the hours it would take a teacher to produce the same materials, the prices are low.

It's like having a "classroom in a box" with PowerPoints that include lessons, crossword puzzles, exams and more. They're very flexible, as they can be used in many ways in the classroom, for instance, as an opening activity, in the middle of a unit, or for review.

The PowerPoints are easy for teachers to navigate, as they are organized with a hyperlinked table of contents.

Teachers don't actually need PowerPoint loaded on a computer if they buy these materials in DVD form. The DVD can be played on any computer or and even a DVD player with remote control.

With audio and video clips, they hold the attention of students, and are also linked to national history standards and major state standards, which helps with state test prep, and can improve students' state test scores.

Professionally made PowerPoints for teaching Government are useful and effective in this age of educational technology, and are a great value for teachers.

Written by Muireann Prendergast. MultiMedia Learning LLC provides government class PowerPoints, as well as government class lesson plans, and teaching games. Learn more at http://www.multimedialearning.org.

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