Google Slides Tips for Elementary Teachers (and free templates!)

I took a survey on Instagram today (are we IG pals yet!?) asking how many elementary teachers are using Google Slides this year. A whopping 80% of respondents said that they use Google Slides for lessons, activities, and distance learning. As much as I LOVE using Slides in my classroom, there are definitely some aspects that make it challenging to use with students. Here are a few Google Slides tips for elementary teachers to make using Slides more effective (and less frustrating!) for you and your class.
P.S. Read to the end to grab some free Google Slides templates!


Show students exactly where to type.

One of the most common complaints I hear from teachers about Google Slides is that the students either don’t know where to type or they delete the text boxes. A lot of teachers add a text box and put “type here” inside, which seems like a great solution! Problem is, kids who aren’t terribly dexterous get click-happy and, instead of deleting the words “type here”, they delete the entire text box.


Use a gray text box to show your students where to type.

Here’s a simple solution: Add a text box but don’t type anything inside of it. Change the fill color to something neutral (I always go with gray!)

You can also pre-format the text box with the font and size you prefer, along with setting the alignment.

Once you have one text box done, just duplicate it as many times as you need.

Now, when the kiddos click on the text box, they have nothing to delete and they can just start typing!


Get more fonts

add-fonts-to-google-slidesListen, I could spend hours…HOURS…searching for the perfect font. I have very strong opinions about them. 😂   As the image to the left demonstrates, font choice matters! I have a very large collection of fonts and have my go-to’s for creating activities for students. So it’s no surprise that I was less than impressed with the selection of fonts available on my Google apps!

Luckily, there is a super-easy way to add way more fonts to your font list!

  1. Open your Google Slides or create a new one.
  2. Click on the drop-down arrow next to the font list.
  3. Choose “More fonts”.
  4. This will open up a new list of fonts that were not on the original list. You can search by name or filter by style.
  5. When you find a font that you like, click on it to move it to your fonts list. Repeat.
  6. Click “OK” when you are done.
Add fonts to Google Slides.

Some of my favorite Google fonts are Chelsea’s Market, Coming Soon, Didact Gothic, Happy Monkey, and Quicksand!


Make it a background

If your students are prone to deleting, resizing, or moving objects that aren’t meant to be moved, a good idea is to take the Slide and turn it into a background. Let me show you what I mean.

Start by designing the Slides, but leave out any interactive elements (like text boxes or movable pieces). Go to File –> Download and save the Slides as .PNG or .JPEG files.

Next, start a new Google Slides presentation. Right-click and choose “Change background”. Select the image file that you google-slides-tipsjust saved and apply. Now, the students can click around to their heart’s content without doing anything to alter the Slide!

Once you have changed all of the backgrounds, you can add text boxes, shapes, clip art, etc. for your students to use.



Free Google Slides Templates

Just to get you started, here are three different templates that you can use with your own class. Just make a copy, change the text, and share with your students!

Click HERE to get the templates!


Read about my favorite Google Slides activity here.

What are your favorite Google Slides tips? Tell me in the comments!

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Hey there!

I’m Brittany…a teacher, wife, boy mom, and lover
of all things Google. I help teachers utilize technology in their classroom to save time!