Working Mum: Leave PowerPoint at the office

By Giles Broadbent on April 28, 2014 5:16 PM |

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By Tabitha Ronson

The letter sent home in Master A's book bag read: "Please would you prepare a five-minute talk to the class this summer term. You can bring in photographs, or special artefacts to illustrate your talk. You may even choose to create a PowerPoint presentation..."

A PowerPoint presentation! Master A is six.

Whatever happened to putting together collages made from magazine pictures or making models out of squeezy bottles and sticky back plastic? Where's the fun gone?

I chatted to another mum about it. Apparently, the PowerPoint option was only recently added because one kid - who has a decidedly pushy mum - demanded she be allowed to do her presentation using this package.

I'll say it again. These are six-year-olds.

Of course, I want Master A to be ahead of the game, computer literate but by the same token, I want him to learn how to use his imagination, harness his thoughts in a creative fashion. Not simply to upload a few images, create a few slides because it's seemingly "clever".

So over the weekend, we created the anti-PowerPoint presentation.

Master A's talk is on Ancient Egypt - a subject in which - along with Batman - he is weirdly obsessed. For props, he has the Great Pyramid of Giza made out of multi-coloured Lego bricks ("The Pharaoh Khufu took 23 years to build his pyramid; it took me half an hour." Jimmy Carr move over!)

Hidden inside the great structure (we've crafted it so the top half can be removed) is a mini Tutankhamun, fashioned from a Lego Gandalf figure complete with handmade silver foil headdress and staff; a slab of modelling clay inscribed with Master A's take on hieroglyphics; and one of his action figures wrapped in bandages to represent the process of mummification.

Master A has had heaps of fun creating the presentation. He learned a lot - and cannot wait to get up to tell all his classmates about the wonders of Ancient Egypt.

Working Mum, wondering what kind of mum wants their six-year-old to be grey instead of multi-coloured.