So, it’s something that the majority of teachers out there are familiar with, the use of jigsawing of informational text to scaffold learning for students.  It’s a popular teaching strategy for the differentiated classroom.  At our school, I most often see it used to review a major concept by supporting the concept with various levels of texts for heterogeneous groups.

With common core standards, teachers are implementing a new (but old) strategy of close reading of text to support major concepts.  When I was growing up, we called close reading, “reading like a historian”, basic concept was there;  read, reread, identify key ideas, make connections to the bigger world, and support what you are saying or writing through going back into the text and citing evidence.  Maybe, it’s because I was a history major that it was called that, but that’s what it was…

So as I walked one room where a teacher was using close reading into another classroom where a teacher was using jigsawing, a small thought popped into my head.  How do we use jigsawing today to best meet the needs of our students with common core?  Do we have to change the practice or do we just need to think of it differently.  Then it hit me…

I remembered an article I had read about the actual practice of jigsaw in a classroom (I’ve included the link below).  The article went over how to model jigsawing in the classroom and how to group students to best use the technique.  In one of the steps, a suggestion was made to split the material being read into pro/cons, or arguments for or against at different reading levels and having groups read, re-read, make connections, find supporting evidence,  and then come together in “home” groups to discuss.

Does that sound familiar?

One of the key practices in the Common Core standards is the ability to analyze and to make judgments based on evidence found in text.  So often, I see close reading done whole class; just for a moment think about it…  could you jigsaw using articles in support of the concept or against the concept at various reading levels and groups and support all learners?

Yes, you can.  Differentiation using the same concept, using arguments to justify or defend a concept at a level all students can be reached and  it’s engaging and relevant…

Bring on the old to help the new!

1 Comment so far

  1.    Tracy Watanabe on February 17, 2014 12:16 am      Reply

    Hi Heidi,

    When I read your post, and again when I read the article, “Using the Jigsaw Cooperative Learning Technique“, I thought about a lesson I saw in a DVES classroom where the teacher was discussing character traits with evidence from the text. — In her jigsaw, each student had his/her own version of Cinderella at his/her reading level; and students had to find support for the character being good… or for the character being evil… But of course, it all started with the teacher modeling how with one more version of Cinderella.

    It was absolutely amazing to watch the engagement and analysis that took place, supported with evidence in the text. It also fit so perfectly with the “I do it” (focus lesson) – “We do it” (modeling and guided instruction) – “You do it together” (the collaborative groups or collaborative jigsaw groups) – so that you’ll be able to do it independently.

    The jigsaw group or collaborative group is an important scaffold to be able to do it alone.

    Thanks again for this post!

    Kind regards,

    Kind regards,

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind

  • Relationships

  • Archives

Skip to toolbar