Monday, September 19, 2016


Jigsaw Kahoot for Collaboration

As an ESL teacher I've always been a HUGE fan of making students talk to each other. It could be about their day, what we've read, or working on questions together. In my opinion we cannot teach English to be just writing and formal presentations, they need to speak and collaborate with one another.

Now, I teach a lot more literature, though many of my students are still ESL students, and I still find that they should be talking to one another!

A long loved activity of teachers to encourage collaboration has been the jigsaw (no puzzle required). This blog will discuss the traditional jigsaw and throw in a more modern endings by adding Kahoot. As always there are other low tech or no tech ways to achieve this that will be discussed.

The next lesson I teach is Oedipus Rex, so that's where well start.

Prep Work
Readings. I am very fortunate to have small class sizes (under twenty students). You'll essentially be creating two different sets of groups. I do this with colors and shapes. For the sake of simplicity, pretend you have a class of nine students. I would group them into: Star, Circle, Triangle, Star, Circle, Triangle, Circle, Star, Triangle.

That means each student is in two different groups: color and shape. These groups don't need to be exactly the same, but it is helpful (so in a class of 15, you could have 3 shapes and 5 colors). Keep in mind that how ever many colors you have, that's how big the groups will be at the end. I don't like having them much bigger than 5, and some teachers may want it smaller than that.

For this class, I did it by column and note cards.

Each row has shared readings (and the same color note card) and the columns can easily get together when the groups need to be composed of different colors.

Each text is labeled with a different color. You can differentiate a bit here.  In this class seating arrangements are actually purposefully arranged so I can do activities like this and have similar students across. If I want students working with someone similar to them, then they face left or right. If I want a more mixed group they look forward or back.

Some things to consider are to give a slightly more difficult text to the students at higher reading levels, and a slightly easier text to students who struggle more with reading. Sometimes I have one group watch a video, one group listen to a song, and one group read a short news article.

To start, each student listens / reads / watches their assignment and answers the questions given. This is usually done on their own.

This can also be done in more of a literary circles fashion. All students are reading the same text, but different colors are focusing on different sections (vocabulary, plot, character development, etc.)

In this case I gave students ten minutes to read their article and take the best notes they could take on their note card.

Small Group Check
Once done, students move into a small group with everyone who has the same color as them. As they all had the same assignment they have the chance to share out here. Did they not understand something? Do they need more guidance? Did someone see something no one else did?

Mixed Groups Share
This is where it gets fun. Students move to another group that has the same shape, but DIFFERENT colors. They leave their worksheets behind, but get to bring their note cards with them. That means all of these students are joining the group with new information. They are the resident experts, and where the jigsaw activity gets its name. Each student has a piece of the puzzle and everyone needs to pitch in to make the puzzle complete.

In many cases they simply share with one another to complete a worksheet or let other students add to their notes. I've seen some teachers pass out a "Group test" and the group is graded based on the answers they come up with together. However, to add some fun to it this is a GREAT time to play Team Kahoot.

Many of you know I love Kahoot. I've blogged about making Kahoots as a teacher, and having your students make them. Team Kahoot, was a new function brought up this Spring. It's great for classrooms with limited tech as more than one student can sign on as part of the same team.

In this case it's great because the questions are made based on ALL of the colors, so one student can't dominate and take over for everyone else. Instead all of the students need to work together. You can see the Kahoot here in all its glory.

I did this today with my class of 15. It took us a solid 45 minutes which included reading, note-taking, making groups, Kahooting, and me explaining while we Kahooted. Students LOVED it and it was a great way to prepare them for Oedipus Rex next class.

Any questions or comments let me know below or tweet me at mELTingTeacher. I'd love to know if you plan on using something like this as is or adapting it to your class.

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