PowerPoint Information Gap Activity

clip art image of a man pointing at a powerpoint presentation with a pointer

Purpose: To learn complex subject matter through a PowerPoint information gap activity. This promotes teamwork within student groups as well as working together as a whole class to become familiar with complex material.

Transitions Integration Framework category/skill/sub-skill:

Effective Communication

Skill 1: Engage positively and actively with individuals in both one-on-one and team settings to accomplish goals

Sub Skill e: Participate, make contributions, and encourage the contributions of others in order to accomplish the shared goal of a team

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Materials needed: Short readings or gathered resources on the different aspects of the subject matter; laptops/computers with PowerPoint (or similar program); computer with a projector

Preparation: Create a four to five slide PowerPoint template for students to complete about their assigned section OR create step-by-step instructions indicating what should be included on each slide. (See the example about body systems below.) Gather and/or print resources for each group, or provide research tips for students to find answers via the internet.


1.      Break students into groups of two. Assign each group a particular aspect of the subject matter to be learned. For example, if the subject matter is “Human Body Systems”, then each group would be assigned a different body system about which to gather information (cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, lymphatic, etc.).

2.      Make sure each group has access to a computer and PowerPoint (or similar program). Either hand out the step-by-step instructions or help them navigate to the template previously created.

3.      Give each student group resources to use or direct students on how to find the information for their slides.

4.      Give student groups 45 minutes to complete their four to five slides. Give students a few minutes to decide how they will present the material (who is saying what). Each student needs to say something!

5.      Hand out a note sheet with the sub-topics of each group for the students to record notes as the groups present.

6.      Have each student group present its slides of information to the class using the projector. The rest of the students should write down two things they found interesting or that they did not know prior to the group presenting. (You may want to instruct students to keep pencils down until the group is done presenting—this prevents students from trying to write down everything word for word.)

7.      Clap after each presentation!

8.      Optional: Hand out a review quiz to see how much students comprehended from the presentations.

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