Powerpoint & classroom notes are Powerful!”

Estelle Brettenny



Become more aware of the POWER of Powerpoint and classroom notes to enhance learning. 


The sample images included below, in no particular order, come from resources (that are freely available on the internet) to support Grade 12 learners doing Afrikaans FAL (First Additional Language).  The 2021 syllabus for Afrikaans FAL includes 10 ‘Gedigte’ and ‘Rondom My’ is one of them.  The images give a glimpse of how different teachers approach the task of analysing and teaching the poems.

Please look at the images and comments below the images with an open mind…

(The images might not view very clearly on a mobile device)

Every ‘Strofe’ is analysed on a separate slide. Selective highlighting is done

Two or three lines are analysed per slide. Colour is used. Is it helpful or not? Why or why not?

Is this analysis easy to understand? What do you think? 

What do you think of the font used for this poem?  Would you say the use of colour is helpful?

This analysis is done ‘Strofe’ by ‘Strofe’ in a Word Document.  A text box is placed around the lines that are analysed. No colour is used.

This is a computer generated map in a Word Document. Certain words are emphasized in colour.

A few lines are analysed per slide.  Text boxes are added on during the Power Point as something is explained.  What do you think about the green background colour and the use of colour in the text boxes? 

Colours and lines are added during the explanation of the poem. 

Poem lines are spaced a bit further apart to create space for blocks around words. What do you think about the background colour and how the analysis is done on the right hand side? 



I had a few referrals lately that desperately needed help with Afrikaans poems. My role is not to teach Afrikaans but to empower learners ‘how to learn’ (even Afrikaans poems!).  I always start with myself and try and use everything I know about the science of learning to figure out effective ways to learn something myself, like the Grade 12 poems.

I have not really worked with the Grade 12 Afrikaans poems for a while, and therefore I tried to find resources.  I could not believe the number of resources that were freely available on the internet to support Grade 12 learners in South Africa.  Well done teachers!  You are working hard!

As I am currently doing a lot of reading and personal research about Cognitive Load Theory (and related theories) and reading my newest book, Dual Coding with Teachers, I started reflecting about how the poems were analysed and which resources were more helpful and how I could use it as part of what I planned to do to support my referrals.

I do not want to write about all my thoughts right now, but want to highlight two things that we can see from the images that I have included.

  • There are many ways to do/teach something
  • Some ways are more effective and will make learning (or communication), retention and retrieval easier.

But how can we really know which methods are more effective? And, how can we create PowerPoint presentations and notes more effectively as they have the POWER to enhance or hamper learning?

The more we understand about Cognitive Load Theory, Dual Coding and related theories, the better we can create learning material that will enhance learning.

If you are interested in this topic, please follow my Blogs for the rest of the year.  And, if you are REALLY interested, send me an email (, or leave a comment on my Blog page and share why you are interested.

REAL Thinking & Learning about ‘The Power (& Cognitive Science) of PowerPoint & Classroom Notes’ is important to Be More Aware of how it can enhance Communication, Retention & Learning.

Estelle Brettenny