Using drag-and-drop in Google Slides to create interactive activities


One advantage of so many people providing remote instruction is the many new ideas to make teaching more interactive. One of these is the drag-and-drop activity for Google Slides. As of yet, the activity cannot give automatic feedback to the student, but it does allow for creativity and customization with a minimum of effort. This article explains how to create a slide and gives some teaching ideas.

Here are the basics for how to create a slide:

  1. Open a Google Slide and add to it any items that should be stationary, such as a table for items to be placed in or instructions for the activity. Many people like to remove the text boxes provided to create a clean slate before adding other items.
  2. Select File > Download > PNG image to save the slide as a graphic.
  3. Make the graphic be the background — select Slide > Change background > Choose image, browse to select the png file you just created, click Insert, then click Done.
  4. Add moveable items such as text boxes or pictures onto the slide. Tips:
    — Add a background color to text boxes to make them more visible.
    — To search for graphics, select Insert > Image > Search the web, then type the item you are looking for in the search box.
    — If you want an item to be selectable multiple times, select the item and type Ctrl-D to duplicate it. Select all the items, right-click, and select Align horizontally > Middle, then Align vertically > Middle. You will now have a stack of items that look like one item.
  5. Make a copy of the file to share with each student. For detailed instructions, see

Ideas for Use


Syllable sorting: Have students sort items based on the number of syllables in the word.

Word pattern sorting: Have students sort words by pattern (e.g. silent e, rhyming, or a consonant combination).

Sentence creation: Provide a clause that starts with a capital letter, a clause that starts with a lowercase letter, and a connective word, and have students put together a sentence.


State/country identification: Have students label the states in the union or the countries on a map. see Pocketful of Primary’s YouTube video at


Money counting: Have students indicate how use quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies to add up to a defined amount. For an example of this, see EZ EdTech!’s YouTube video,

For many other ideas and video instruction, search for “Google Slide drag and drop” on the Internet and YouTube.

You can also find Google Slide templates on and/or Teachers Pay Teachers at


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