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A Jigsaw Strategy Lesson

written by: Kellie Hayden • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 2/14/2012

The jigsaw method is a great way to allow students to work together in cooperative groups to learn core material. In this middle school language arts lesson, students learn the basics of eight parts of speech by using the jigsaw method.

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    Jigsaw Strategy

    The jigsaw lesson strategy is one where students work together as a team to learn material. The strategy is great to use in any classroom when there is a great deal of material to be learned. Students are part of a three-six person team or group. Within the team, each student will learn a part or a "chunk" of information and become an expert. When each expert understands a chunk or a part of his or her assigned material, each expert will teach his or her information to the group.

    When using the jigsaw strategy, there should always be some type of assessment because students work in cooperative groups to learn the material. In order for it to be a meaningful use of time, students need to take it seriously but work well as a team.

    Language Arts Jigsaw Activity

    Grammar seems to be a difficult area for many students. To make it more "palatable" teachers can try this strategy. For example, the eight parts of speech seem to be learned at various grade levels but then forgotten by some students. Resource books with examples of the eight parts of speech need to be available for this lesson.

    Steps for 8 Parts of Speech Jigsaw

    Step 1: Form teams and assign a leader. Each group should be four students. There are eight parts of speech and each student will become an expert on two of the parts of speech.

    Step 2: The leader should help the group members each choose 2 parts of speech. The 8 parts of speech are as follows: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, pronoun, conjunction, interjection. In order for this activity to flow smoothly, each student needs to choose one part of speech from each list:

    • noun, verb, adjective, adverb
    • pronoun, preposition, conjunction, interjection

    Students should be instructed that they are to find out the following about each part of speech:

    • definition
    • 10 examples words
    • rules about using the part of speech
    • unique qualities about the part of speech
    • Use two examples of a part of speech in a sentence and underline the part of speech

    Students Become Experts

    Step 3: Once the students have found out the information about the two parts of speech, the teacher needs to set up four stations in the room (noun, verb, adjective, and adverb). The teacher can have four of the eight part of speech experts meet together and then switch to (pronoun, preposition, conjunction, interjection) The experts need to talk to each other and make sure that they have their information correct.

    Step 4: Students need to go to their original group after the two expert group sessions. Each expert will share what he or she learned. All group members should take notes.

    Step 5: After each group member or expert has presented, students need to study their notes for a quiz over the information on the following day.

    The jigsaw lesson strategy can be used in the language arts classroom any time there is a great deal of information to be learned. For example, Renaissance poetry can easily be organized into a Jigsaw lesson. It just takes a little planning, but students will learn how to work together to learn a great deal of information quickly.