Effective Ways to Use the Jigsaw Strategy in Teaching

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The jigsaw teaching strategy can be used across all curriculum areas. For this teaching method, students learn a part of a lesson and then teach it to the class or to their cooperative group.

Method One– Have Students Prepare a Lesson to Teach

There are a couple of ways to implement the jigsaw method in your classroom. Jigsaw works best when you are using cooperative groups.

  1. Divide your students into groups with varying abilities. Do not place all students with the same academic abilities into the same group.
  2. You will need to create a lesson guide for students to use. A great idea to try is an abbreviated outline. Have students divide their topic into two subtopics with three supporting points. Then, explain how to use and fill out the lesson guide.
  3. Assign the material or text that you want to cover after you have placed students in their groups. Then, give each group a section of material or text to read and learn about. Give each group enough time to read and understand the material. Then, have them prepare a lesson to teach to the class. If you want, you can even give them time to prepare a visual aid, such as a poster.
  4. After that, have each group teach their lesson to the class. You can have students take basic notes or have some basic questions prepared to make sure students understand all the material covered. You can even have them make some type of artwork, such as a collage, that incorporates the important points from each group’s lesson.

Method Two- Have Students Teach Their Lessons

For this method, you will still need to use cooperative groups.

  1. Divide your class into cooperative groups if you have not already done so. Again, place students of differing academic abilities into each group. If possible, each group needs to have the same number of students. Each student will become an expert and learn about one part of the lesson. Then, they will go back and teach the lesson to their group.
  2. Divide the lesson that you want to cover into parts. You need the same number of parts as you have number of students in each group. For example, if each group has four students, then divide the lesson into four parts. Assign one student from each group to a section of text or material. Give each student some type of lesson guide to prepare like the first method above. Have each student prepare the lesson. Usually this is done by allowing students to form new groups called expert groups. All the experts from the same topic meet together to work on the important points of the section they are covering.
  3. After students have finished preparing their individual lessons, have them go back to their cooperative groups and take turns teaching their lessons. When all students have finished teaching their lessons to their groups, have students complete an assignment, like the ones listed in the first method, to ensure comprehension of the materials covered.
  4. Use the jigsaw teaching strategy in all subject areas. It can be used as a review tool for any curriculum. It also works well in science and social studies to cover textbook reading.


  • Teaching experience.

This post is part of the series: Jigsaw Teaching

Find a group of articles to help you with the Jigsaw Teaching method.

  1. Use the Jigsaw Teaching Method to Promote Responsibility for Learning
  2. Developing a Jigsaw Teaching Technique for Second Grade Lessons
  3. A Jigsaw Strategy Lesson