BCW teamAgency, Grouping, Inquiry, Understanding Learners

Jigsaw research



“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.– Anatole France

JIGSAW RESEARCH:  Putting the pieces together…

Jigsaw research is a great way to enable learners to explore complex topics and learn how toclearly share their ideas with others.
Learners will be positioned as researchers for the first part of the task. Look at the topic you are researching or inquiring into and decide on focus areas for the research. For example if your class is inquiring into landscapes and places, there may be four areas to research such those shown below in the jigsaw pieces
Jigsaw research

ABC of Inquiry Jigsaw research

Depending on your class size you may need one or two research groups for each area. Try and keep your group size between 3 and 4 students. Students who are interested in a specific area  form a group. If there aremore than 3 or 4 students in a group, then two groups for a particular area can be formed.
Each research group of students then conducts an inquiry into a specific area of a topic, becoming a‘specialist’in that area.
Jigsaw research 1

Jigsaw research 1

Once the groups have done their specialist research, they then rearrange themselves to form ‘home’ groups to share and peer teach others about their specialist knowledge. Each home group is made up of one member from each of the specialist groups.

Each student in the group takes time to teach their* peers about their area of knowledge. The group can ask questions, clarify, compare knowledges and skills between each other, thus peer to peer teaching occurs.

Each of the home groups is given a specific topic to apply their ‘area specific knowledges’ to and then has to develop an inquiry project that combines their area specific knowledges and topic to develop deeper understandings of that topic. For example if the topic being inquired into is landscapes and places, each home group could apply their ‘area specific knowledges’ about: geographical features; the needs and wants of living things that influence or impact on how a place is used; the effects natural changes or human intervention and development have had on a place; and what has been determined as a value in this place by humans and why is it considered valuable.

  • Home Group One might apply their understandings to a world heritage area
  • Home Group Two might apply their understandings to a city or urbanised area
  • Home Group Three might apply their understandings to a rural or farming area
  • Home Group Four might apply their understandings to a remote or wild space

*BCW will now use‘They,their — themself’ as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun in all subsequent material generated on our website.

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