How to use the jigsaw strategy with your students

What is the Jigsaw Strategy?

A cooperative learning strategy in which students specialize and master one aspect of a topic and then teach the material to their group members.

Why would I use this activity?

  • Cooperative learning allows students to work on their communication and problem solving abilities
  • Use it as a way to practice summarizing and comprehension skills
  • Build on background knowledge on a unit of study
  • Learning about different viewpoints on a historical event

Using Newsela with the Jigsaw Strategy


Activity 1

Title:

How do communities influence individuals?

Article:

In Baltimore, skateboarding lifts young black men to a better place

 Activity:

Essential Question: How do communities influence individuals?

Student Work: Review the essential question with students and discuss that communities aren't restricted to region.

Brainstorm different types of communities. Below are some suggestions of communities and articles that can pair with them:

  • Social community
  • Online community
  • Geographic community

Explain to students that they will be split up into groups and each group will be responsible for answering a set of questions that they will then share with the whole class.

Guiding questions could include:

  • What kind of community is described in your article? List out the aspects of the community that make it unique.
  • What kinds of individuals are drawn to this particular community?
  • What are the goals of this community?
  • How does this particular community affect the individuals involved?

Group Work: Assign each group a type of community and an article. These will be the students' Jigsaw Groups. Suggestions are listed above. Within each group, assign each student a number. These will be the student Expert Groups

Within their Jigsaw Groups, students will answer the questions above. One student should serve as scribe. After 15-20 minutes, students will get into their Expert Groups and each student will share out what they learned about their respective community.

Reflection: Independently, students can write one new thing they learned about communities.

  

Activity 2

Title:

How does pollution affect our society?

Article:

Opinion: Air pollution, which is increasing, can take years off people's lives

 Activity:

Entry Document: Students will use the Pollution Effects Text Set to learn more about the impact of pollution on the Earth.

Guiding Questions: Share with students the essential question: How does pollution affect our society? Elicit their initial responses and reactions. Explain to students that they will be split up into groups and each group will be responsible for becoming an expert on a certain article. They will be able to answer a set of questions that they will then share with the whole class.

Student Work: Divide students into groups of 4. This will be their Jigsaw Group. Within the groups, assign each students a number. This will be their Expert Group.

Within their Jigsaw Group, students will select an article from the Pollution Effects Text Set. (You may want to assign an article to each group, in order to ensure there is no overlap.) They will become the experts on this article. While reading, everyone in the group is responsible for answering the following guiding questions:

  • What is the central idea of this article?
  • Who is affected by the type of pollution mentioned in your article?
  • What impact is the pollution having on earth?
  • Is there anything being done to solve this problem?

After 20 minutes, assemble students into their Expert Groups. At this time every student will have the chance to present the findings of their article to the rest of their group. Students should use their answers to the guiding questions to lead the discussion.

Review: Bring the whole class together and have students share new information they learned. Come to a conclusion about the essential question.

   

Activity 3

Title:

How has Mayan civilization influence our society today?

Article:

The Americas has a new oldest book, scientists say of a Maya calendar

 Activity:

Set-Up: Pose the essential question to the class: How has Mayan civilization influenced our society today? Review the question and elicit initial thoughts.

Explain to students that they will be split up into groups and each group will be responsible for reading an article about the Mayan people and answering a set of questions that they will then share with the whole class.

Assign each group an article below. These will be the students' jigsaw groups. Within each group, assign each student a number. These will be the student Expert Groups.

Within their groups, students will answer the questions below. One student should serve as scribe. After 15-20 minutes, students will get into their Expert Groups and each student will share out what they learned about their respective community.

Articles:

Guiding questions could include:

  • What are three to five new things you learned about the Mayan people?
  • Highlight two pieces of evidence that show how Mayan civilization has influenced our society today. Be sure to cite specific examples and how they translate to today.
  • What cultures can you compare the Mayan civilization to?
   

Activity 4

Title:

Science: Nature vs. Nurture (Middle School)

Article:

These crows take sticks and use them as tools; scientists are excited

 Activity:

Set-Up: Pose the essential question to the class: How much of a behavior is based on nature vs. nurture? Review the question and elicit initial thoughts.

Explain to students that they will be split up into groups and each group will be responsible for reading an article about the topic of nature vs nurture and answering a set of questions that they will then share with the whole class.

Assign each group one of the articles below, including this one. These will be the students' jigsaw groups. Within each group, assign each student a number. These will be the student Expert Groups.

Within their groups, students will answer the questions below. One student should serve as scribe. After 15-20 minutes, students will get into their Expert Groups and each student will share out what they learned about their respective community.

Articles:

Have students complete the following statements....

  • Three main points discussed in the articles are...
  • The nature vs. nurture debate is...

Choose one:

  • My article supports the nature side because....
  • My article supports the nurture sided because...
   

Activity 5

Title:

The implications of dividing a city

Article:

A day of painting walls could help bring people together

 Activity:

Set-Up: Pose the essential question to the class: What are the implications of dividing a city? Review the question and elicit initial thoughts.

Explain to students that they will be split up into groups and each group will be responsible for reading an article about cities that at one point have had a physical wall dividing a portion of their land. After reading, they will answer a set of questions and share with the entire class.

Assign each group one of the articles below. These will be the students' "expert groups." Within each group, assign each student a number. These will be the student 'jigsaw groups."

Within their groups, students will answer the questions below. One student should serve as scribe. After 15-20 minutes, students will get into their 'jigsaw groups" and each student will share out what they learned about their respective article.

Articles:

Guiding questions could include:

  • What was the purpose of building the wall?
  • How did the wall physically divide the city or country?
  • How were the people of the city or the country affected by this divide?
   

Activity 6

Title:

Consumer and producer relationships

Article:

Lower cereal sales change breakfast scene

 Activity:

Set-Up: How do consumers influence producers? Review the question and elicit initial thoughts.

Explain to students that they will be split up into groups and each group will be responsible for reading an article about cereal production. After reading, they will answer a set of questions and share with the entire class.

Assign each group one of the articles below. These will be the students' "expert groups". Within each group, assign each student a number. These will be the student's "jigsaw groups".

In addition to this article, assign each group one of the articles below. (There are 4 in total.)

Within their groups, students will answer the questions below. One student should serve as scribe. After 15-20 minutes, students will get into their "jigsaw groups" and each student will share out what they learned about their respective article.

Guiding questions could include:

  • In your article, what do consumers want?
  • What kind of problem is the producer trying to solve and how are they going about to solve it?
  • What is the relationship between the consumer and producer in the article?
  • What is the general opinion on cereal and how does it influence the consumer and producer?
   

Activity 7

Title:

How can we celebrate and remember history? [organizer included]

Article:

It's app-ropos: Ancient Native American trail receives recognition

 Activity:

Set-Up: How can we celebrate and remember history? Review the question and elicit initial thoughts.

Explain to students that they will be split up into groups and each group will be responsible for reading an article about the different ways history is celebrated. After reading, they will answer a set of questions and share with the entire class.

Assign each group one of the articles below. These will be the students' expert groups. Within each group, assign each student a number. These will be the student's Jigsaw Groups. Students can record their findings on this Jigsaw Recording Sheet

In addition to this article, assign each group one of the articles below. (There are 3 in total.)

Within their groups, students will answer the questions below. One student should serve as scribe. After 15-20 minutes, students will get into their jigsaw groups and each student will share out what they learned about their respective article.

Guiding questions could include:

  • In your article, what is being celebrated?
  • How is this event or group of people being celebrated?
  • How are people responding to way the event is being celebrated?

Newsela Tip: Have your student use the jigsaw recording sheet with one of the activities above

   

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