Literacy 7-12

Systems Change


As students work with and process information by discussing, organizing, and sharing it together, they deepen their understanding. When learners become experts on a certain topic through analyzing multimodal texts, whether in groups or individually, and share their understanding with different students, they practice their literacy skills during content area instruction. Research has shown that student understanding of content material is higher after participating in jigsaw reading activities.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch as this teacher uses jigsaw as a differentiation strategy for reading comprehension. Each student in the home group has time to prepare an idea to share and, working together, all become experts and can share their learning with other students.

  • Teachers can strengthen students' Vocabulary skills by having students tackle new material in a jigsaw activity. When students first review new material independently before moving into small groups, teachers can support learners' varying Speeds of Processing. Students also take ownership of their learning when they are asked to explain information to their peers.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Starting at 1:16, learn how Popplet allows students to collaboratively create shareable presentations. These presentations can be created in the first jigsaw group and support students when sharing their expertise in the second group.

  • Developers can create prompts and spaces for structured small group discussions where students can present information digitally on their assigned topics to peers and teachers. These interactive forums should allow students to communicate with others and their teacher to enrich discussion and practice a variety of literacy skills.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy