A jigsaw activity is a classic type of activity that gets your students speaking and sharing information with each other. It is a great way to incorporate more speaking into a reading lesson. Here are the steps:
1. Divide participants into small groups.
2. You can have one story or article divided into 2-4 sections, or have 2-4 separate articles or stories with a similar theme. You should have as many sections or short stories as you have groups. If you have 3 small groups, you will need 3 sections or short articles.
3. Divide the articles/stories or parts (segment) between the groups. You need to make sure that each group has a different article/story/segment.
4. Each group answers comprehension questions about their segment OR takes notes on their segment OR completes a table about their segment. They can do this as a group or work silently and then compare what they have as a group. All members of one group should have the same answers. This works particularly well if the different articles/segments have similar points so the tables or questions that each group must complete can be identical, but this isn’t essential.
5. If the group didn’t work together from the beginning, the group members then check their answers or notes together and work together to clarify any lack of understanding. Again, make sure that all members of the same group have the same answers. You can monitor at this point and clarify anything the students are confused about.
6. The students are regrouped so that the new groups contain one member of each previous group. Every person in the group read a different article or segment.
7. The groups now share verbally with the other group members the information that they read. The other group members use this information to complete the questions or tables about the articles they didn’t read.
8. Reconvene as a whole group to discuss findings and clarify any questions.