Jigsaw is a cooperative teaching strategy that empowers each learner to take responsibility for one chunk of the content, then teach it to the other group members.
Like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, learners fit their individual chunks together to form a collective understanding.
Here are the steps of a basic jigsaw:
Step 1: is to divide you learners into equal groups of 4 to 6 people. These are your Jigsaw Groups.
Step 2: Divide your content into the same number of chunks as the number of learners in each group. If you have six learners per group, divide your content into six chunks. A chunk of content can be a case-study, textbook chapter or an online resource.
Step 3: Assign one chunk of content to each person in the Jigsaw Group. So, each group has one person responsible for one chunk of the content.
That person will be expected to teach that chunk to the rest of the group.
At this point, learners don’t interact with other members of their group as they are studying their own chunk of content independently.
However, their independent study is built upon and consolidated by the next step…
Step 4: Have learners meet in Expert Groups.
After each learner has studied their chunk independently, they gather with the other learners who have been assigned to the same chunk.
These are called Expert Groups.
Within each expert group, learners compare their ideas and work together to prepare some kind of presentation to present back to their Jigsaw Groups. During this time, gaps in individual learners’ knowledge can be addressed, misconceptions can be cleared up, and important concepts can be reinforced.
Step 5: Learners return to Jigsaw Groups.
Now that learners have prepared presentations in their expert groups, they return to their original jigsaw groups, where each learner takes a turn presenting their chunk of information. During each presentation, the other learners listen, take notes, and ask questions. Before each take their turn presenting. As each “expert” delivers their chunk of content, the others in the group are responsible for trying to understand it as they will all be assessed.
Step 6: Assess all learners on all the content. The assessment can be an individual quiz to assess if learners have a basic understanding of all the content chunks that have been covered.
In addition, to add a further competitive element, individual scores can be averaged to generate a collective score for their group.