Jigsaw Learning Activity

"The only strategy that seemed to work in all four quadrants (acquiring surface, consolidating surface, acquiring deep, consolidating deep) was the jigsaw activity, which had a large effect size.

In a jigsaw activity students are reading new information, discussing it with others who have read the same thing to extend their understanding.

Then, moving to new groups where they teach peers about what they read and learn new information from group members."

John Hattie, MindShift

The jigsaw technique is a method of organizing classroom activity that makes students dependent on each other to succeed. It breaks classes into groups and chunks assignments into pieces that the group assembles to complete the (jigsaw) puzzle.

The Jigsaw Method enjoys an effect size of 1.20. This makes it one of the most effective instructional strategies you can use.

In Your Home Group

  1. Divide into groups of six people each. This is your Home Group.

  2. Number off from 1 to 6 so that each person in the group has a number.

  3. Each member of the Home Group will be responsible for learning and teaching one "chunk" of content to your peers, assigned by the number you have.

  4. Take a look at your content chunk.

  5. Go join your Expert Group, the people who have the same number as you, to begin the activity.

In Your Expert Group

Working alone in your Expert Group

    • Study your assigned resource for 8 minutes.

    • Jot down the big takeaways, the key points, and/or the must-knows. This jigsaw notes organizer will come in handy.

In Home Group for Reporting

Return to your Home Group. You now have just two minutes each to teach the others in your group what each Expert learned. Use the resources/notes you created as you share.

Individual Self-Assessment

The Jigsaw Method doesn't work unless we assess the learning. So now, individually, please draw your responses to the following questions:

    • What does Hattie’s research mean to you as an educator?

    • What are the take aways?

    • What is one strategy shared in resources that works?

Content Chunks

  1. Article: Hattie Effect Size and One Strategy

  2. Video: Jigsaw Method (Jennifer Gonzalez, Cult of Pedagogy)

  3. Blog: Schmoker’s book, Focus

  4. Blog: The Power of Jigsaw

  5. Video: Intro to RT (Drive) (3 mins)

  6. Research: Reading Comprehension

Check for Understanding

Why is the jigsaw method so effective for learning?

What is the basic process of the jigsaw method?

What potential problems might I encounter in using the jigsaw method?

How might I use the jigsaw method in my classroom or in a professional learning experience I offer?

Digital Jigsaw Method

Organize your instructions and sub topic resources topics in a Google Sites or a hyperdoc to structure subtopic explorations.

Additional Resources

Did You Know?

TCEA offers a series of online courses focused on high-effect sized instructional strategies. Earn a digital badge, certificate, and 12-18 hours of CPE credit hours per course. Learn more online.