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Props/Prep: Yes
Time: 30-50 min
Audience: Any
Physical: No

Jigsaw Activity: This activity is great for utilization with groups of 3-5 students to explore concepts, ideas, or content. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with additional group work. This is a great way to encourage participants to work together, and share their learning with others. It gets students up and moving in the room. They are required to be creative, present content, and listen to and learn from their peers. It is a good idea to encourage participants to bring resources with them to class, related to the content that they will be learning for the day (i.e. PowerPoint presentations, text books, computer for      online sources, etc.). 

Time Requirements: 30-50 minutes

Materials needed: You will need a coloured piece of paper for every student with a number on it and tables. 


  • Use a different colour of paper for each group of students. On every piece of paper, write a number. 
  • As students come in the door, give them a piece of paper with a number on it, and tell them to sit at a table with people in the room who have the same colour paper as they do. This will be their ‘base group’ or ‘home team’.
  • Once all the participants are seated, assign each number a specific topic or content. Give all the participants several minutes to work on that specific piece of the activity. They are free to discuss their different issues within their base groups.
  • Now have students regroup into expert groups, by having all the same numbered participants sit together. i.e. all number ‘1’s, sit together, all number ‘2’s sit together, etc. These are expert groups – they have all worked on the same content. They should all share what they did individually, and work together to complete the content. They should all work to master their specific content.
  • Lastly, have the students return to their base groups. The content experts should all take turns presenting back to the group. The entire lesson is explored, researched, and taught within small groups working together.

Function in the class: The jigsaw is a great method to move the learning and presenting of content back to the participant. It is a tool that is student focused, not teacher focused. It is also a great tool to increase collaboration and cooperation among peers in the classroom.