Reading Jigsaw

Jigsaw Diagram

This activity should be used when you have a large chunk of text with concepts that you want students to understand, but don’t necessarily need each student to read the entire text independently. It has three parts: one the teacher completes in preparation for the session, and the other two parts for the class activity.

Prep: Chunk the text into appropriate sections.  The number of chunks you have should allow for groups of 4-6 students.

In Class: Assign a group of 4-6 students to a chunk of the text.  This is usually done by numbering students off 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.  (see the top part of the diagram).  Each group should read their assigned chunk aloud or silently, and talk about how to summarize it and teach it to the rest of the class.

Then, have students number off again, so that they will be in a mixed group with members that have read the other chunks of text (see the bottom part of the diagram).  Each student should share/teach the information from their chunk of text with their new group.

By the end of the activity, each student will have read text, synthesized concepts, and taught the concepts they read about.

This activity utilizes critical thinking skills as students are asked to read new material, understand it, and share it with others in a way that makes sense.

Make sure that the text can be chunked in a way that Section 1 does not need to be read to understand Section 2, etc.

It might be useful to have each mixed group synthesize the reading in a few sentences (individually or as a group) to make sure concepts are clear.

This is a great activity that engages students as they learn new information.  Reading Jigsaw empowers students as they become an ‘expert’ in their chunk and teach it to other students.

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