Traditionally, jigsaw is a cooperative learning strategy that enables each student of a “home” group to specialize in one aspect of a learning unit. Students meet with members from other groups who are assigned the same aspect, and after mastering the material, return to the “home” group and teach the material to their group members.
A variant of this is where the separate groups present to the whole class. When you do this, make sure there is some accountability of the audience to the presentation.
I want students to learn about a series of subtopics, for example to Bill of Rights. I don't have time to go through each amendment. Instead of rushing through it, or picking some to focus on, I divide my class into 10 groups. Each group will present one amendment to the class. Each group has a resource to help explain the bill along with several real-world examples. They use their resources to create a presentation that explains the amendment and come up with a fictional "test case." They present the test case to the class. As each group presents, students take notes in a graphic organizer that is checked periodically by the teacher. At the end of the unit, students are given a writing assessment in which they use knowledge from multiple presentations.
- Start with short activities that are completed in one or two periods to teach students the strategy.
- Make sure each person in the group is responsible for one aspect of the presentation
- Make sure to have accountability with your audience. When students are listening to one group, have them fill out a note taking worksheet or graphic organizer.
- Always include some type of post-activity that requires synthesis and individual accountability.