The jigsaw strategy is a research-based cooperative learning method that empowers students to become “experts” on a given topic and then share their learning with their classmates. Introducing this method of learning to your class requires some patience and modeling, but once your students have it down, it’s a perfect fit! It’s an opportunity for students to practice cooperation and utilize critical thinking.
Sensing the Structure
The basic structure of a jigsaw is as follows:
1. The teacher creates heterogeneous “home” groups of students
2. The teacher divides students a second time into “expert” groups and assigns students their topics
3. Students return to their home group to share what they learned on their assigned topic.
Forming the Frame
The jigsaw strategy can be utilized in many different ways, including with Walking Classroom podcasts! We understand that it’s hard to fit it all in and the list of curriculum to cover only grows and grows. However, the jigsaw strategy is a great way to cover a large chunk of material in a meaningful way.
Your students could jigsaw the weather-related podcasts from Program 4 or podcasts from Program 5 about the Civil War. Once you’ve decided what topics your students will be jigsawing, the class goes out on a walk together just like a regular TWC lesson, except each student is listening to their group’s assigned podcast.
Putting the Pieces Together
Students return from the walk and talk with peers from their expert group about what they learned. Then, students return to their home group and share their learning with group members that listened to one of the other three podcasts. Each student gets an opportunity to be the expert and three chances to utilize good listening skills as they learn from their peers.
Ready to try out the jigsaw method with your students? Here’s a planning guide to get you started!
What are your experiences with the jigsaw method? Have you ever used it with The Walking Classroom?