Within the next month, find a time that you can try this strategy in your classroom and share your results with your cohorts by leaving a comment here. Your experience may just give someone else an idea they can use in their own classroom!
What is it? A process in which students become experts in a section of a text or an element of a broader topic (e.g., learning about different times of a famous person's life), which they then teach to other students who have become experts in different portions of the text. All students take turns teaching their classmates.
Why we like it? High student engagement in all four domains - reading, writing, speaking, and listening; the perfect tool for differentiation (beginners can be given easier portions of the text); can be used for any topic; and it can require minimal teacher preparation.
Application There are multiple ways the strategy can be used but the steps are basically as follows:
- Teach vocabulary needed for comprehension of jigsawed content.
- Divide class into expert groups and distribute the appropriate texts.
- Expert groups practice reading the text together (or learning their assigned material)
- Form groups with one person from each expert group represented.
- Experts teach their text or content to the new group.
- Students complete a follow-up task (could be creating a summarizing poster, planning a role-play to perform, etc.)
- Teacher reviews the follow-up task with the entire class.
Examples of topics and categories that could be used for jigsaws:
- Reports on countries: economy, culture, history, famous people, natural resources, politics
- Wars: weapons, famous battles, leaders, causes, beginning and end
- Different sections of any lengthy article or text
- Types of figurative language: metaphors, similes, personification