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University of Wisconsin: Parade of Games in PowerPoint

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

Tech Product Equipment

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, speakers, PowerPoint software

Activity Description

These PowerPoint game templates can be downloaded from the site and customized with vocabulary from your course content. The files include hyperlinks (hot spots that, when clicked, go from one slide—such as a question slide—to another slide, such as a correct or incorrect answer slide). With Word Jumble, learners are given a word taken from topics from the course content. The word is jumbled, and participants must reflect on course content in order to be able to un-jumble the word. With Flash Cards, learners connect definitions with key words or concepts. A definition is shown to the learners and they must make the correct association of the definition to the word or concept it defines. The games can be used as team competitions for vocabulary teaching review and reinforcement.


  1. Become familiar with PowerPoint, if you have not used it before. Make sure that the computer on which you plan to use the PowerPoint has the software installed.
  2. Decide if and how you will award points if you use the game in a competitive format.
  3. Prepare a list of vocabulary words from your current or upcoming lessons and definitions. Teach these vocabulary words in class as they come up in reading, listening/lectures, or vocabulary instruction. For lower level ESL students, images may be used to teach the vocabulary and in the PowerPoint slides.
  4. Choose a template (Word Jumble for spelling, word recognition; Flash Cards for definition recall). Download it from the Web site and save it to your desktop.
  5. Open the PowerPoint and type in a vocabulary word on each slide, as the samples show, and a type a definition or insert an image. Follow the models so that the hyperlinks display questions and answers correctly.
  6. Re-save the file with a new name and copy it to a USB file or e-mail it to yourself as an attachment so that you can open it or download it from your e-mail on the computer in your classroom.


  1. Explain the game to the students. Divide students into teams, if you plan to use the game as a team competition.
  2. Open the PowerPoint file. To run a PowerPoint slide show, press the F5 key, or on the Slide Show tab, select From Beginning.
  3. Play the game by asking question slides to teams and providing answers.
  4. Use students' performance to inform future lessons—more review of vocabulary or testing if students demonstrate comprehension.

Teacher Tips

  • Download and view the sample games so that you understand and have practice with the games and the hyperlinks. Each game template on the site includes a sample.
  • If students are placed on teams, teach simple sentences for communicating on teams (agreeing, disagreeing, asking for opinions).

More Ways

The games templates on the site can be used for review of other skill areas: reading comprehension/recall, grammar, listening, spelling, punctuation.

  • Buzz Word Bingo
  • Correct Order
  • Diagram It
  • E-mail Game
  • Flash Cards
  • Idea Map
  • Jeopardy
  • Multiple Choice
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • What is the Truth?
  • Triples
  • Trivia
  • What Am I?
  • Word Jumble
  • Word Search
  • Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

To choose the best game template for your learning objectives, see the site's "Decision Matrix for Games that Teach."

Select subjects and subcategories

  • Algebra
  • Geometry


  • Physical Science

Social Studies

  • Economics
  • U.S. History
  • World History
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.