This week was the last week of my ESOL class on SIOP! For my final project, I wrote a 5-lesson thematic unit on Amphibians. I used many of the same lessons and activities from my Amphibians Unit, but added in some extra SIOP-friendly strategies, such as a Jigsaw reading activity.
Back in grad school when I was getting my teaching license, one of our textbooks was Dr. Kagan’s Cooperative Learning. When I was reading the SIOP book for this ESOL course, I was reminded of all the cooperative learning strategies, such as Think-Pair-Share, heterogeneous groupings, and Jigsaw. Luckily, I still had the book, so when I was writing up my lessons, I was able to pull up the original strategies and get a bigger picture as to how this would work in my classroom.
For the Jigsaw activity, it is basically what the OCDE Project GLAD® strategy Expert Groups is based on. Students start out in table groups, then are put into Expert Groups. These groups can be pre-meditated and thoughtfully placed, or they can be random. Students read a text. They then meet with their Expert Group, fill out a graphic organizer and plan how they will teach the other students about what they read. Then students return to their original table groups. In these groups, each person should have been in a different expert group. Each students then takes turns teaching their group about the info they read. The team takes notes on a Expert Group organizer. At the end of the lesson, each table has a filled out Expert Group graphic organizer and each table member has learned about all the topics, even though they only technically read about one of them.
This is such a powerful lesson for many reasons. There is an element of choice, so students are more motivated. English learners are supported by engaging in discussion and writing information on graphic organizers to be able to go back to and see the important bullet points. Low acheiving students are successful and held accountable for their learning. The teacher scaffolds learning and supports students along the way.
To help you implement a jigsaw activity in your classroom, click the image below to grab it from Google Docs. It includes a set of graphic organizers and a poster to hang so students know the routine. Enjoy!
What cooperative strategies do you use in your classroom?