A New Way to Make PowerPoints Interactive

Microsoft Mouse Mischief is a free software download for PCs that integrates into Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 to allow educators to insert questions, polls, and drawing activity slides into lessons for participation for up to 25 students. Each student or pairs of students uses their own wireless mouse to do this. Additionally, the teacher gets statistics of who answered first and correctly in order. I priced some wireless mouses for the classroom and found used ones for $6 so this can be a relatively cheap option for giving students access to one computer. In my situation, I have an LCD projector and one laptop. Also, I work with young language learners. Currently, we share one laptop, which is my laptop. Therefore, the Mouse Mischief software has various possibilities. Here are some ideas for using this software if this would be ideal for your classroom setting.

Ideas for Implementation

  • Have students play sequencing activities. For example, they can create drawings of a book they read in class. Upload these and the students must put these in order. For added difficulty, put up words or describe the event and have students match this as well to the scene.
  • I really like the team option. Have students work in pairs or teams that compete in answering trivia questions about an upcoming test.
  • Allow students to work in pairs or teams to create their own templates so that they apply the learning. The students then have the rest of the class complete the assessment.
  • Have students practice any type of drilling used in class, such as labeling, matching vocabulary to pictures, learning fractions, or learning the times tables.
  • Have students categorize and evaluate information. For example, students can determine which sources from various locations are acceptable and have to tell you why. You can list the ones they have used in their current essays.
  • Upload an advertisement and have students criticize the stereotypes, language, and misconceptions presented by the advertisement. Each team suggests a way to improve the advertisement then the class works together to recreate the advertisement using these suggestions.
  • Play jigsaw sentences with students in teams competing against each other. Designate roles, such as a timekeeper, the person who controls the mouse, and the one who keeps score. Rotate these roles.
  • Provide students with a word bank and have them create haikus. Use a timer to see which student teams finish their haikus first.
  • Upload papers with errors and have students find errors and suggest ways to correct the error.
  • For younger students, have them name the various shapes then mix and match them to create objects like a house or person. The students can also fill in the color.
  • Have students use the drawing tool to invent tools to solve a problem. For example, they may have to develop the vehicle of the future that is eco-friendly or design a new product.
  • Music teachers will love the way students can choose notes to compose a piece of music.
  • Check out these various lesson templates covering various subjects for more ideas.
  • Download the software and the education starter kit!.
  • Check out theYoutube channel for more ideas.

Useful videos

    Mouse Mischief Video Tutorial

    How to Create Student Teams

    The Official Promotional Video


Find ways to make your present technology more interactive for students at a low cost.

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What ways do you see Mouse Mischief helping your students?

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.


  1. I’d heard about this software just a few days ago Shelly. Is it as good as it sounds then?

    Nice one for going into so much detail with ideas on how to use it. Must admit, if it’s a platform-neutral IWB software (like it sounds like it is) I’ll be really excited to try it out. I quite often do training sessions for teachers using the SMART Notebook software, but I do think it’s wrong to lock teachers into one, rather small, proprietory software. With this (and I’ve heard the functionality will be coming to OPen Office very soon, too) I think we’ll be offering teachers a much more widely useable package of lesson ideas.

    So, the big question is: how well does it work in class?!

    Seth 🙂

    • Seth,

      I’m going to experiment with my 4 year-old English language learners so we’ll really be able to see. This software has so much potential for children. I’ll let you know how my experiment goes and if I am able to manage the chaos well! It’s worth a try!

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