Graphic Organizer for Jigsaw Activity/Groupwork

The Jigsaw is one of my favorite activities to use for reading comprehension with English language learners. It allows them to organize information they have read in a visual way, thereby helping them process the material more deeply. (The picture above is a link to a generic graphic organizer for a jigsaw activity.)

Here’s an example of how you might direct groupwork using this handout:

Sample topic:  American Revolutionary War

1.  Divide students into 3 groups of 3-5 (depending on class size). Each group should have the same number if possible.  Give these groups a number.

2.  Determine a subtopic to the main topic for the day, and assign to each group.  For example, if you are discussing the American Revolutionary War, the subtopics could be:  1) Causes, 2) Major Events, 3) Results.

3.  Students then discuss their assigned topic to determine 3 main ideas.  Each group member should each record these on the front side of the handout.

4.  Once students complete these steps, they will change groups entirely and form a new group with members from the other 3 groups.  (If you number the groups, you can tell them that there should be one member from groups 1, 2, 3, and 4) in each new group.

5)  In Group #2, students will begin to put together the big picture of the topic.  Each member reports their findings from Group #1 and students in Group #2 take notes on the second part of the graphic organizer.  Students take turns reporting until they are done.

I love jigsaw activities because they are student-centered and combine a variety of speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills.  They also help students identify the most important information and condense it into language they understand.  Make sure to visit http://www.jigsaw.org for more information on jigsaw activities.

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