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 for more information on jigsaw activities.

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