Templates and Generators

By Judith Maginnis Kuster

My favorite online dictionary is OneLook (www.onelook.com) which calls itself "a search engine for words and phrases" and provides definitions to over 5 million words from more than 900 online dictionaries. OneLook defines "template" as "a model or standard for making comparisons˛ and a "generator" as "somebody or something responsible for generating something such as an idea, plan, or strategy." Both templates and generators freely available on the Internet are useful in developing individualized treatment materials.


Exploring the Internet for PowerPoint programs, I uncovered an interesting Jeopardy game that a creative teacher had modeled as a review before exams. It was easy to adapt his Jeopardy game to "Stuttering Jeopardy" (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster/kids/jeopardy.html ) which can be used to help children learn about their own stuttering, or as a classroom activity. Enter the key words template +jeopardy +ppt on the Google (www.google.com) search engine, to discover many Jeopardy templates that clinicians can adapt for a variety of purposes.

  • Templates used by Union County Schools (www.ucvts.tec.nj.us/ettc/links/linkhtml/templates/template.htm) has several activity templates, including Flashcards as an easy example to start with. (www.ucvts.tec.nj.us/ettc/links/linkhtml/templates/flashcards.ppt).

  • Templates for Homemade PowerPoint Games (http://it.coe.uga.edu/wwild/pptgames/templates.html) from the World Wide Interactive Learning Design Team invites teachers and students to adapt or customize any game in their database (http://itstudio.coe.uga.edu/lrieber/wwild/search/PPT-search-results.asp) which includes an activity for practicing the signed alphabet (http://it.coe.uga.edu/~lrieber/pptgames/sign.ppt). The Games Templates (http://it.coe.uga.edu/wwild/pptgames/templates.html) are also worth checking.

  • TeachNet.com (www.teachnet.com) provides several PowerPoint presentations which can be adapted to create materials using popular game show formats. Created by Mark Damon (www.teachnet.com/lesson/misc/winnergame022500.html), templates are freely available based on

  • The Sourcebook for Teaching Science (www.csun.edu/~vceed002/ref/games/) features many adaptable templates including:


    Online "generators" produce materials which can be used online, printed out, and sometimes e-mailed. There are numerous activity generators on the Internet. The most popular ones allow you to build and send greeting cards. Typically these websites provide step by step instructions for making the card that is then stored in a directory. Recipients receive an email telling them where to find the greeting. World Wide Web Greeting Card Links provides hundreds of links (http://www.triosys.com/gcard.html).

  • Storybook Station allows the user to create personalized stories and letters by answering several short questions. The stories, with illustrations that can be printed out in color (or black and white for the client to color) can be used for speech and reading practice and word-recall activities (www.searsportrait.com/StoryBook/StoryBook_StoryIndex.asp?tag).

  • The Story-Making Machine (www.communicationconnects.com/stories.asp) has simple stories and poems that can have specific target sounds highlighted. There are both pre-written stories submitted by children and a write-you-own-story option.

  • By following easy directions, the Instant Online Crossword Puzzle Maker http://www.puzzle-maker.com/CW/ or Crossword Puzzle Maker (http://search.teach-nology.com/cgi-bin/crossword.cgi) can quickly produce an activity for word recall, vocabulary development, or articulation practice.

    Word search generators can be adapted for vocabulary building homework and articulation practice.

  • Award Certificate Maker (http://teachers.teach-nology.com/web_tools/certificates) and Make Awards for Children (http://kidbibs.com/awards/card.htm) produce individualized certificates.

  • With the Worksheet generator (http://school.discovery.com/teachingtools/worksheetgenerator/) you can quickly create fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, matching, word scramble, and vocabulary worksheets.

  • A Web Quest generator (http://teachers.teach-nology.com/web_tools/web_quest/) provides an activity "to engage students in inquiry based learning. A web quest is meant to guide students through a process of inquiry through a set of assigned tasks that lead them to a conclusion, or that results in a product."

    There are thousands of templates and generators on the Internet. Use your favorite search engine to discover more! Making materials provides you with an opportunity to explore your creativity, and more importantly, provide your clients with materials specifically designed for them.

    Judith Kuster is in the department of speech, hearing, and rehabilitation services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Contact her by email at judith.kuster@mnsu.edu. All of Kuster’s Internet columns are on the ASHA Web site in HTML format with active links http://professional.asha.org/news/news.cfm, although URLs change and there is no guarantee that links from previous articles are still functional.

    Kuster, JM, Templates and Generators, ASHA Leader, January 20, 2004, p. 15