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Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.

The jigsaw strategy

This co-operative learning strategy can be used in many learning situations.

Students are placed in groups. The number of groups and the number of students within each group are decided for each context. For example, in a class of 28 students that is examining seven different texts, the students would be placed in four groups with seven students in each. These are the home groups. The students are numbered one to five within each group and five new groups are formed with all the ones grouped together, all the twos grouped together, and so on.

Each group is allocated a text to work with and the group becomes ‘experts’ for that text. After working with the text, the original home groups are re-formed and the experts teach the rest of the group about their text so that the whole group has an understanding of all.

The next step will vary according to context; for example, students may be required to compare information or points of view, create a sequential narrative or answer questions across texts.