Monday, November 26, 2012

Jigsaw Strategy

Give students an opportunity to teach.

Using the Jigsaw Strategy allows students to become "experts" on a single topic or concept.  They research and learn about their topic in small groups, taking notes, and discussing together the essentials. 

After becoming "experts", they will leave their first group and join a second small group in which they teach others about their concept.  The key for students is to teach.  They do not simply pass around their notes, copying from one another.  Rather, they verbally teach their peers about their concept.  Students who participate in self-learning, note taking, and verbally teaching will gain more in depth knowledge and understanding as they must consider how to communicate what they have learned to others.

Give students the chance to teach one another, give them control, and give them the opportunity to share their learning and expertise with others!  Give it a try, and see what you can learn! 


  1. At first glance I was turned off because I hate puzzles, but after reading it..
    The one time I did this, it took a lot of work up front but it was definitely worth it.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. I value this strategy's emphasis on cooperative learning. However, I don't employ it for covering new topics because I lack a way to keep students accountable for the information they supposedly just learned. Anyone have a suggestion other than giving a quiz right after the jigsaw?

    1. I make them complete something to show me the information they have learned. Further, I give them very strict guidelines for their research (ie I provide the books, websites, etc. where research should take place). This allows me to see if they are not only doing the work, but I know what info they should have grasped by the end of the activity.