This model works well when there is TOO MUCH information to cover, in too short a time, for students to complete successfully if they were working on their own.  Instead of providing each student will all materials to study independently, Jigsaw assigns students to teams and gives each team member a piece of the information.

1.       Introduce Jigsaw.  “To help you learn the materials, you will be studying with a small group of your classmates.  There will be four members on your team, and each of you will be responsible for learning as much as you can about one topic that is important to your team.  This will be your base team.  You will also be in expert teams with students from other groups, but with the same topic as you, to help you become an expert on your topic.  After you become an “expert” you will teach your base team everything you have learned.”

2.       Assign heterogeneously based groups.  A way to do this could be to randomly give students colored pieces of paper to make the different groups.  Or you could purposely group them by ability, sex, etc.  The important thing is that heterogeneous means DIFFERENT, where homogenous groups would contain groups of all the same types of students (all high ability, all low ability, all girls, all boys, etc.)

3.       Assemble expert groups to study material.  For younger students, study guide sheets are helpful to guide their learning.

4.       Experts take turns to teach their base teams.

5.       Evaluate and provide team recognition if desired.