Friday, October 14, 2011

Native American Jigsaw

This past week we have been working on an activity called Jigsaw. If you are thinking that sounds familiar to you then you are probably right. If you have ever completed a puzzle you have probably heard the word jigsaw. So how exactly does that relate to what we have been doing in class? Well,the purpose of this jigsaw activity was for the class to learn about Native Americans and the different tribes they have made an impact in history.

First, the class was split up into three base groups. Each member of the group was given a specific tribe to research. Then we were split into "expert groups" Our expert groups consisted of the people in the class that were assigned the same tribe. I was assigned the Dine' tribe so it was my responsibility to research and report to my group. After conducting research, we got back into our expert groups to share what we found. Once we all felt that we had sufficient information we taught or information to our classmates in our base groups. By each contributing our own research and information, we acted as individual pieces to the puzzle. Hence, the Jigsaw Activity.

I thought this activity was extremely useful and much more meaningful. Instead of having each student in the class research all of the different tribes, we were able to focus on one tribe and then communicate and collaborate to help each other become experts. I would definitely use this exercise in my classroom. Although it would probably need to be adjusted to be successful at the elementary level, I think it is a fun and exciting way for students to learn. It also promotes collaborations and allows the students to take part in their own learning.

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