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Friday, October 23, 2009


The teaching strategy Jigsaw is a group activity where each group is given a topic that can be jigsawed together into one major concept by the teacher. You start by dividing your class into expert groups; I find that groups of three are perfect as larger groups tend to get off task in a jigsaw activity. You then give each expert group a number, which is the same number as their assigned topic number. The directions need to be very specific as students need to be able to work independently.

Below is a sample assignment, which should outline for you what the students should do to complete their part of a jigsaw.

Student presentations should be posted in order (1-7); and after the last presentation the teacher should tie the topics together, add additional facts, and have the students write down some key points that she wants them to know for testing purposes. I recommend a strategy called square notes, which is illustrated below, for note taking. I find that showing students how much they have to know (size of the box) about a particular topic seems to motivate them to take notes. Give it a try. You will notice there is additional information on the square notes that was not part of the jigsaw. I find that after a jigsaw you can always sneak in a few more facts to complete the lesson.

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Find more Teaching Strategies like this on the Teaching Strategies Page


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