2017 Calendar: A Class Calendar in PowerPoint

I make a new PowerPoint calendar template around this time every year. In this post, I would like to introduce you to the Class Calendar 2017.

I have written about class calendars in previous years and I am probably in danger of repeating myself, but if this is your first time reading my blog, I will introduce class calendars a little bit. If you are a regular reader and have seen my previous calendar posts (here and here), click here to go straight to the download.

What are class calendars?

Class calendars are calendars specific to the needs and interests of the class. They mark important days your students need to be aware of and days they are looking forward to. Class calendars are supposed to be informative and motivational.

Numbers and dates

Students use months and days regularly to discuss their own schedules. A class calendar is a great way to practise ordinal numbers and the phrases used to talk about time e.g. What are we doing in two weeks’ time? What happens on the 25th? What happens a week on Friday?

Discuss important dates

A classroom calendar is also a way to keep students regularly informed about important dates and events. Whether it is a school event or an upcoming test, a class calendar keeps these events at the forefront of the students’ minds.

National Holidays

If you are teaching abroad, a class calendar provides you the opportunity to talk about the national holidays of the country you are living in and teach the students the names of those holidays in English. This gives the students the ability to talk about their national holidays in language they are learning.

Holidays and Festivals from Around the World

You may also want to include holidays and festivals around the world. It not only gives you the chance to talk about your own culture, but you can also introduce other festivals the students may be less familiar with. The class calendar is a great launching pad into cultural topics.

Fun Days

You can also include fun days, such as: National High-five day, Talk like a pirate day, or Pocky (A popular snack from Japan) Day. These kinds of days can bring a little humour and curiosity to the room. Encourage the students to be creative and come up with ideas for their own unique holiday or fun days.

Svetlana Kandybovich from ELT-Cation suggests:

You may also plan your future together and talk about learning preferences or some fun activities that your learners would like to do at your classes, and schedule some special events.

Source: Passing the Barriers – ELT-CATION

So, if you have any activities that your learners particularly like or movies and music they would like to learn from, you might want to mark them on the calendar to help motivate your students.

What’s new?

In previous years, I have created the calendar using the slide master view. On the left-hand side of the calendar there were always two picture placeholders, so you could insert your own images. This year, I have removed the picture placeholders and created a blank slide.

2017 Calendar - What's new.png

Top left: January, from the Class Calendar 2016, Top right: January, from the Class Calendar 2017, Bottom Center: January, from the Class Calendar 2017, which has been customized with a picture of ‘Fireworks’ by Dimitra Bekiari (Source: ELTpics)

This means that you can insert an image to be the background of the calendar (see the example above).


There is a new way to edit the Class Calendar 2017. Just click on the table and enter your event.

In 2016, I had also use text placeholders. These placeholders would prompt you to enter your events. During the edit, mode the placeholders are visible, but when you start the slideshow, only the events you entered will be shown.

This year, I have simplified it and just used a table. To enter an event into the calendar, just click on a square below a date and type it in.

The reason I made these changes was to make the calendar easy to use with different kinds of presentation software. So, whether you are using PowerPoint, Keynote, Open Office Impress or Google Slides, you should be able to use this calendar template without there being too many formatting issues.

Editing the calendar

Now that we have introduced class calendars and discussed what’s new in the 2017 version, I would like to discuss how the template can be edited.

First, download the Class Calendar 2017

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow showing each month from the Class Calendar 2017.
The template is blank allowing it to be customized to your own class.

There are two ways to customize the calendar by adding your own images.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow showing each month from the Class Calendar 2017.
The template has been customized with a background image for each month.
Click here for image credits, source and creative commons copyright license.

These instructions are for Microsoft® PowerPoint®. Editing procedures may differ in other presentation software. However, the core principles should remain the same.

Insert a background image

  • Go to the insert ribbon
  • Click on the insert pictures icon
  • Choose a picture online or from your local drive
  • Click insert
  • Resize the picture so that it is the same size as the slide
  • Click on the format ribbon
  • Click on send backward
  • Click on send to back
  • The picture will now appear as a background to the calendar

Format the slide background as an image

  • Go to the slide view pane on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Select the month you want to edit
  • Right-click on the slide
  • Select Format Background
  • In the background options, select picture or texture fill
  • Click on file
  • Select an image from your local drive
  • Click insert
  • The picture will now appear as a background to the calendar

Enter your events

  • Click on the table to enter your event
  • Type in your event

Once your class calendar has been prepared, use it to your and your students’ benefit and make it a part of your class routine.

Do you use class calendars? How have you been using them?

Please leave a comment if you have any ideas you would like to share.

Alternatively you can send me a message on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

The following images were used in the customized calendar:

  • January – Fireworks by Dimitra Bekiari
  • February – Valentine heart for you from an (Italian) square in Salerno by vale360
  • March – Spring daffodils. Bute Park, Cardiff. Wales by VictoriaB52
  • April – Easter – bolied eggs ready for egg rolling by Eltpics
  • May – Spring flowers by Zoe Ladika
  • June – Summer in Pernambuco , Brazil by Roseli Serra
  • July – Kite, Sky, Summer by Csilla Jaray-Benn (Image edit: This image was cropped)
  • August -Beach in Bali by worldteacher
  • September – Autumn trees, Scotland – UK, by cgoodey
  • October – Halloween pumpkin by Chrysa Papalazarou
  • November – Autumn leaves by Daniel Payne
  • December – Christmas decorations by Ugur Dinçer Buckner

All photos were taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics  and are used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The calendar was created in Microsoft PowerPoint® 2016.

Microsoft® Office® is a copyrighted product of the Microsoft® corporation. All images are for educational purposes only.

You may also like to read:

Countdown to Christmas - Featured Image

Countdown to Christmas! is an article illustrating how to make an advent calendar in PowerPoint. Use the fragment option from the merge shapes feature to create your advent calendar windows. It is easy to create a calendar from any image. This would be a great countdown to Christmas for young learners.

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