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ESL forum > Games, activities and teaching ideas > Jigsaw reading activities    

Jigsaw reading activities


Jigsaw reading activities
Hi all,

Some years ago I purchased a floppy disk (ok, it was quite a few years ago!) with fascinating short stories of the detective type, divided up into segments. You separated the students into as many groups as there were segments of the story, gave each group a copy of their segment. When they had finished reading and thoroughly digesting it, you took the segment away and redistributed the students into new groups comprised of one student from each original group. This way each student �s contribution was absolutely necessary for decifering the story-line and understanding the mystery behind it.
They were marvellous, and my students simply devoured them! (And we �re talking ESL high-school students here. I.e., very low motivation and high resistence to anything looking like work, which these tasks were indeed!)
The problem is, the floppy disks went to the place where all floppy disks go when they �ve been subjected to too much humidity and whatever. And the author �s e-mail address stopped working, and I don �t know his/her name. All I know is that he/she lived in Buenos Aires (I bought the disks at a conference in Chile).
I �ve tried writing my own, but I just can �t get the hang of it without at least one sample. The author had the knack of making each segment riveting and absolutely mysterious, but supplying all the answers in a most satisfactory way in the combined text. Beats me how!
Anyone heard of this kind of thing? Any idea where more can be had? ANYone heard of the author?

24 Apr 2009      


I �m afraid I havent heard about the author, but I �d like to !!
Sounds really interesting!

24 Apr 2009     


Well, flaviatl, just to give you an idea. All this was about 9 years ago, and my ex-students STILL ask about them! 

24 Apr 2009     

United States

Don �t you have just one word of the title or anything?
It �s sound fabulous - perhaps one of the members here know it.
I �d love to hear more about it.
Good luck

24 Apr 2009     


I didn �t know the activities were called that ... Interesting. And students like them.
I did the same thing but with elementary students. We were doing Food Chains and i had them divided into groups as ghan described. They all had some pieces of information to memorise so that they could contribute within their own team. e.g. A hognose snake eats toads. A mouse eats praying mantids. They were given a handout with the names of animals all over it and had to draw lines (arrows) to show a complete food chain. The handout is very simple (i was not introduced to esl back then), but it gets the students going. Even the weakest ones because they have a responsibilty! Usually in group work, the leaders would always try to take over. Here, you have team work, and everyone has a contribution to make.


24 Apr 2009     


@libertybelle, all I can remember is the term �Jigsaw Reading �, but nowadays that term is used for other activities, which, although similar in concept (Nice idea, @ivona!), are not the same thing. Doing searches for those terms has yet to yield any results along the lines I seek. The key was not so much the structure of the activity (which is not uncommon), but in the content. Those stories were so good! 

24 Apr 2009