How to Teach Microsoft Word to Kids
Word processing skills benefit children during their school years and in just about any profession they may choose as adults. Word processing applications offer features appropriate for both basic and advanced users, which means you can teach Microsoft Word to kids. Lesson plans will depend upon the age of the child, but even preschoolers can learn the basics. Demonstrate each step, and then allow the student to complete it, encouraging them to take notes along the way.
Create and Save a Document
Open Microsoft Word by browsing the Start Menu. You can also show your student how to create a desktop shortcut or pin the application to the Taskbar or Start menu.
Select the “Blank document” or another template on the Startup screen. Demonstrate how to browse for a student report in the Education category and also how to search for the template by entering “student” in the Search for online templates field.
Type a report title on the file, and then save the document by clicking “Save As” on the File tab. Students can choose to save the file to their computer or Microsoft Live account.
Encourage the student to save their work frequently to avoid losing it, should the computer or program crash. Demonstrate how they can set up Microsoft’s Autosave feature. On the File tab, access Options and select “Save.” Select the “Save AutoRecover information every "X" minutes” and “Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving” check boxes. Microsoft recommends setting the autosave function to no more than 10 minutes.
Enter two sets of text that each include a heading, subheading, paragraph and bulleted list. In this section, you will show the student how to format these text objects to give visual prominence where needed and create styles they can apply to similar objects.
Highlight the heading text to select it. Click the “Home” tab and point out the Font group, which has most of the basic text formatting functions.
Change the font to Arial, 16 pt. using the drop-down menus. Center the heading and make it bold. Finally, change its color to a dark blue instead of black.
Right-click the selected heading text, point to “Styles” and select “Save Selection as a New Quick Style.” Give the style a unique name. Demonstrate how to apply this new style to the second heading in your document by highlighting its text and selecting your Quick Style from the Styles Gallery on the Home tab. You can also use the shortcut "Ctrl-Shift-S."
Insert an Image
Insert the cursor where you want to insert an image. You can change the text wrapping, position, size and other settings after you insert the image.
Click the “Pictures” button on the Insert tab to locate, select and insert images from your computer. Click the “Online Pictures” button to search the Microsoft clip art library. To insert an image found on the Web, use the Bing search box within Word or right-click the image in your Web browser, copy it, and then return to Word and paste the image.
Double-click the image to select it and simultaneously access the Picture Tools Format tab. In the Arrange group, click the “Text Wrapping” button and demonstrate the different options available.
Click the image to select it, and then re-size it using the border handles. You should also demonstrate how to re-size the image by entering a height and width in the appropriate fields in the Size group on the Picture Tools Format tab.
Use the Spelling and Grammar Checker
Click “Spelling & Grammar” on the Review tab to launch the Microsoft Word spelling and grammar checker. Select the option to check spelling and grammar all at once.
Ignore a suspect word or phrase. You should also explain that the “Ignore” button will only apply the action to the selected text while the “Ignore All” button applies it to all instances of the word or phrase in the current document.
Select a suggested change for another suspect word or phrase to demonstrate how Word updates the document. Again, explain the difference between “Change” and “Change All.”
Add another suspect word or phrase to your dictionary.
Tips & Warnings
- Guide your student to additional learning at one of the free online courses designed for kids: Microsoft Office Word Tutorials, GCF LearnFree and Think Tutorial’s Microsoft Word Tutorials (links in Resources).
- The information in this article applies to Microsoft Word 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
References & Resources
- Scholastic.com: Teaching Word Processing Skills in English Class
- Education.com: The Impact of Word Processing in Education
- Windows: Add Icons to the Desktop or Taskbar
- Windows: Pin a Program to the Taskbar
- Microsoft Support: How to Insert and Modify WordArt Objects In Microsoft Word
- Office: Create a New Document Using a Template
- Office: Basic Tasks in Word 2013
- Office: How to Protect Your Files in Case of Crash
- Office: Create a New Quick Style
- Office: Insert Pictures
- Office: Check Spelling and Grammar
- Office: Templates for Office Online
- Office: Training Courses for Word 2013
- GCF LearnFree.org: Word 2013
- Think Tutorial: Microsoft Word Tutorials