Jigsaws: A Strategy for Understanding Texts
Lesson Objective: Examine texts through different lenses
Grades 6-8 / ELA / Reading

Thought starters

  1. How does focusing on one element of the text encourage close reading?
  2. Notice how the groups share their findings with the class. How does this deepen understanding for both the sharers and the listeners?
  3. In what ways is the jigsaw a time-saving strategy?
I was taught the jigsaw method in a slightly different form. As in this video, "expert groups" are formed, each with a different task. However, instead of sharing back to the whole group, expert groups disband at the end of their work session. Then "home groups" are formed with 1 person from each expert group. Sharing takes place in the new small groups called "home groups"....
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I agree with James - when I learned the jigsaw, you had a home group of, say, four students. Then all the ones would get together, all the twos, to form the expert groups. At the end, the ones, twos etc go back to their home group and share what they learned in their expert group. It's a good cooperative learning strategy because all students are responsible for their portion of the task, and if they don't participate or complete the task, they can't successfully share the information with the rest of their group.
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I agree with both James and Tennille. This is not an accurate representation of the jigsaw strategy.
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Hi Dennis, Tennille, and James. Thank you so much for your thoughtful additions to the discussion and for pointing out the different ways of using the jigsaw strategy. While the jigsaw has traditionally relied on expert groups that then teach other students, often times teachers modify the jigsaw strategy to meet their needs. In this video we see one of the many possible modifications of a jigsaw that still honors the expert group portion of the strategy, but modifies the teaching component. For more information on jigsaw strategies, check out these resources: http://www.jigsaw.org/overview.htm http://www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/using-jigsaw-cooperative-learning-30599.html. http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/Jigsaw/
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I have been working to find (or rediscover) alternate ways of teaching content. Julie sparked a great rediscovery for me! Thank you! James and Tennille have a positive way of saying "I learned another way too" which is quite helpful to the reader and is obviously the way they teach their students! Thank you too!
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  • Strategies: Jigsaw Method
    00:00:04 JULIE MANLEY: One of the things that I do to move students through fairly complex tasks is

    Strategies: Jigsaw Method
    00:00:04 JULIE MANLEY: One of the things that I do to move students through fairly complex tasks is to use a jigsaw method. I distribute a model text of a persuasive speech and wanted students to look at that speech to analyze its argumentative elements. TEXT:
    Julie Manley
    8th Grade ELA Teacher
    Chinook Middle School, Bellevue, WA
    00:00:22 JULIE MANLEY: So, you guys are going to be group one. You guys are group two. You guys are three. TEXT:
    Divide students into groups
    00:00:29 JULIE MANLEY: I use the jigsaw for close reading of informational text where I gave student groups one element of argumentation to read for and really become an expert on so that they could talk about it with the peers that also were expert on that one element of argumentation and then teach the rest of the class. TEXT:
    Give each group a different task
    00:00:49 JULIE MANLEY: So, guys, it sounds like you're about done chatting with each other. I'm going to ask for volunteers at this point.
    00:00:54 BOY: I said a counter argument to support the other side of the topic. TEXT:
    Groups report out their task
    00:00:59 GIRL: I said that you need to make a poignant claim that you can credibly backup with logic and reason.
    00:01:05 BOY: I said that they should have rhetorical devices such as anaphora and parallel structure.
    00:01:13 GIRL: I think it works okay; but since he's kind of targeting the audience of his peers, he could, the ethos or I mean the pathos could be really easy for him. But, he couldn't, he didn't use it. And he didn't use any anecdotes in his paragraph. TEXT:
    Generating explanations increases understanding
    00:01:28 JULIE MANLEY: Guys, I hope you're madly writing that down. That is so important.
    00:01:33 JULIE MANLEY: What I find most effective about the jigsaw is students are at the center of the learning and translating it into their own language so that they can then teach their peers, and I'm able to be really a facilitator of that learning and that knowledge making.

    Tch TeachingChannel

School Details

Chinook Middle School
11650 S.E. 60th
Bellevue WA 98006
Population: 1026

Data Provided By:



Julie Manley



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Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture