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JIGSAW AND EXPERT GROUPS

The Jigsaw method is the foundation upon which the the 21st century classroom and curriculum are organized.  Always have Expert Groups that Jigsaw and teach each other.  Research indicates that students retain 90% of what they have learned when they teach others and use their learning immediately.  See our page - What Causes Learning?

To use the Jigsaw method, you simply divide your class into several groups of about 5 to 6 students each.  Each of these groups is designated as an Expert Group.

Expert Groupseach expert group will have the responsibility to become experts on one aspect of what the class is studying.  For example, if your theme is the environment, your expert groups could be:  Land, Air, Water and Man's Impact on the Environment (I had those groups one time for a fifth grade class because that's how the excellent materials I found were organized, and it worked very well.)Or, if your class is studying the media, your experts could be Television, Film, Radio, and Print.  Students will have access only to the materials/information assigned to their group.  In other words, the students in the Television expert group will not have access to the materials being studied by the students in the Film, Radio and Print groups.  These experts must become knowledgeable enough on their content to be able to teach it to the other students, and they must prepare to do so.

Jigsaw Groupsa Jigsaw Group is formed by at least one expert from each of the Expert Groups.  When they get together, each expert will then teach the others the topic on which he is an expert.  So, the Television Expert will teach about television to the Film, Radio and Print experts.  And so on.

I recommend that the students build on a huge concept map for their theme as they teach each other.  This way, they have the added advantage of kinesthetic and visual learning, and they are making the connections among the various aspects of the theme they are studying.  I usually give the students a piece of bulletin board paper about six feet long, and let them use markers.  Each time they meet and teach, they update and expand their concept map.

 

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