Jigsaw Collaborative Learning Activity on SMART Notebook

The Jigsaw cooperative learning activity structure is a great way to have students actively involved in learning and sharing information or concepts with classmates.  First developed in the early 1970s by Elliot Aronson and his students at the University of Texas and the University of California, this classroom learning technique works very well using a class SMART Board.
Jigsaw Collaborative Learning Activity Structure
Jigsaw Collaborative Learning Activity Structure

In a nutshell, here is how the Jigsaw technique works:

  1. The information, concepts, topics, or problems are divided into sections (in this SMART Notebook resource, both 3 sections and 4 sections are supported)
  2. Students divide into home groups and number off based on the number of sections (1, 2, 3, 4)
  3. Students then move into expert groups (1, 1, 1;  2, 2, 2; 3, 3, 3; etc.) where they work together to become an expert on their particular section
  4. Students return to their home groups and take turns teaching their other group members about their section

Reasons for using this learning technique with a classroom SMART Board:

  • For a teacher and classroom using this technique the first time, having the instructions and visuals scaffolded together for them allows them to become proficient with this process.  In ensuing experiences, the teacher can simply pull up this Notebook file to refresh the class’s memory on the process as well as follow-up student reflection activities
  • The class grouping pages (either 3-section or 4-section groupings) allow a teacher to quickly divide the class into both home and then expert groups
  • One variation to this activity involves the expert groups creating some type of learning artifact which demonstrates the group understanding, then taking a digital photo of this artifact which can be brought back in to the SMART Board as a focal point for the sharing discussion.

Download link for the Jigsaw SMART Notebook file (1.5 MB):

What other variations or additions could you imagine for this activity?

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