Jigsaw is a well-established method for encouraging group sharing and learning of specific content. This technique can be used as an instructional activity across several days and is best to use when there is a large amount of content to teach. First, introduce the technique and the topic to be studied. Then, assign each student to a "home group" of 3-5 participants who reflect a range of reading abilities. Determine a set of reading selections and assign one selection to each student. Then, create "expert groups" that consist of participants across "home groups" who will read the same selection. Give all participants a framework for managing their time on the various parts of the jigsaw task. It is important to provide key questions to help the "expert groups" gather information in their particular area. In the end, the goal is to prepare a summary to organize the most important information discussed.
Pose a question to start the discussion. Questions and responses are addressed to the group, not the teacher. The teacher or identified student tracks main points. After the discussion, debrief the process as a whole class.
Prior to the discussion, students read the text and engage in activities or record notes to check initial understanding. During the discussion, students are assigned prompts or tasks to begin to explore. The teacher is the facilitator, allowing the students to navigate the discussion with limited teacher support.