TEACHING RESOURCES: TUTORIALS

Jigsaw Model

Jigsaw in a great way to have students teach each other a lot of information, but it can be tricky to do. You really have to be organized! The idea is that small groups of students (3-4 students per group ideally) become "experts" about a set of material — this could be a section of the text, a paper, a figure, etc. For instance, the blue group is "expert" on paper #1, the pink group on paper #2, and the yellow group on paper #3. The groups rearrange and experts (blue, pink, and yellow) then teach each other. It is important that the jigsaw be just that, pieces that must fit together to solve a problem, so that students understand why they are doing it.

Students practice teaching each other, listening to other students and asking questions, and applying information to a problem. Done right, jigsaws can be used to "cover" a lot of information.

When you try this for the first time, don't be too ambitious. Choose a fairly straightforward topic. Work on the logistics — what you want the students to do and when (both groupings in class?), how long each grouping will take, how students will apply the information they teach to the problem, what happens next (discussion?). Color coding each group helps.

Many of the Issues Figure Sets contain jigsaw problems and detailed instructions and information about how to use the jigsaw for that situation. For example:

- Coral Reef Issues Figure Set #5
- Introduced Species Issues Figure Set #5
- Nitrogen Issues Figure Set #3

[top]