How I make lessons in Google Slides

September 8, 2020

If you are using distance or remote learning, you are likely learning all sorts of new tech skills these days! A few months ago, I shared all about how I have been making lessons in Seesaw, and today, I wanted to share some tips on how I make lessons for Google Slides.

Before I dive in, I wanted to let you know that I share all this information in video version over on my YouTube channel. You can view that below! Every single week I share tips and strategies you can take and use in your K-2 classroom right away. If that sounds like something you’d like, be sure to subscribe to my channel.

This information is best learned by video because I can go ahead and share a screencast of how I actually do it. So when you get a minute, go ahead and click the video above so you can see how to do this!

In the video, I go over: how to make any PDF you already own accessible in Google Slides, how to make activities with moveable images, and how to share copy, present links!

To read the step-by-step directions instead of watching, keep scrolling.


Make any PDF accessible in Google Slides
example of a worksheet from a PDF that I can upload into Google Slides and put text boxes over to make it interactive and digital.


When you head over to your Google Slides, you will first make a new presentation, give it a title, and resize the slide to make it the same size as the PDF you are going to use (vertical: 8.5 x 11, horizontal: 11 x 8.5).

To resize the slide, you go to File > Page Set Up > Custom > insert inches.

Then, remove all text boxes so you have a blank slate.

Once your Google Slide presentation is ready, go to your PDF and choose the page that you want to use. Make sure you can see the entire thing on your screen and use your “snipping tool” (you can type in snipping tool in your PC’s search bar) and save the page as an image (PNG or JPEG). If you don’t have a snipping tool, you can always just take a screenshot and crop the image to fit exactly around the page. Once your image is saved and ready, go back to your Google Slides presentation.

You cannot just insert the image into the Google Slides presentation because it will move all around. You will instead, press BACKGROUND >Image > then choose the image you saved. That will save it as the background of your slide and students cannot move it.

Once that is ready to go, you can insert text boxes over any of the areas you want students to type into.


Sharing Your Google Slides Presentation:

Once you are ready to share your presentation with others, there are a few different options you have.

If you are using Google Classroom, you can simply assign the lesson to students from the GC dashboard, and be sure to select “Make Copy for each student” from the dropdown. This will ensure they each get their own copy of the work and cannot edit one another’s.

If you are not using Google Classroom, but want to share the work with students, you will press the big, yellow share button in the top right corner. Where it says “get link” you will want to change the drop-down from “restricted” to “anyone with the link.” Then you will copy that URL to share. If you want students to make their own copy or you are sharing with a teacher who needs to make her own copy, you will need to force a copy of the file.

In order to do that, you will paste that link into your browser and delete the end of the link that says “edit?usp=sharing” and replace all of that with the word “copy.” This will be your new link. This will ensure that when someone clicks the link, they have to make a new copy of it so they can’t edit the original!

If you are making a presentation (not a lesson where students have to edit the slides), you can also follow the same instructions as above, but instead of replacing the end with “copy,” you can replace it with the word, “present” and the link will automatically take people to presentation mode of the slides you made!


Making Activities with moveable pieces:
In this activity (made for Google Slides and Seesaw), students look at the clue in the magnifying glass and try to “find the fish” which is hidden behind the number that matches the magnifying glass. Students can move the boxes and see if they’re correct!

When making a Google Slides presentation with moveable pieces, you will first need to create the background. You can use a snippet of a PDF like mentioned in the first part of this blog post and insert it into the Google Slide as background.

Once that is set, you will go to Insert > Image > Upload from computer and you will insert any images you’ve saved for students to move. You could find pictures of a star (or even insert > shape > and choose star). Those images that you’ve inserted will be moveable by students that use the file. So you can place them where they need to go. In the Find the Fish example above, I placed them strategically over the background and one of them is covering the fish. For other examples, you may move the shapes to the side of the background and students will place them over different things.

Once it is all set and ready to go, you can share your Google Slides presentation with students and they can play!


So there are a few different ways, I create lessons in Google Slides. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!


 Pin to remember:

Have you been wondering how to make lessons in Google Slides that you can easily share with your students through Google Classroom? In this tutorial I show some of the simple ways I make lessons digital and interactive! Follow the steps on the blog post.

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