The examples below describe only a few of the many ways of using jigsaws in the geoscience classroom, lab, and field. Examples are listed in order of complexity and the likely amount of time necessary to complete the jigsaw.
You'll also want to explore our collection of jigsaw activities.
Jigsaws using images, maps, hand samples, thin sections
Geologic maps. Each team receives a different geologic map of an area showing similar kinds of structures. Teams analyze their maps, draw cross sections, and work out geologic histories. After peer teaching, groups work out similarities and differences among the areas and generalize about the particular type of structures portrayed.
- Satellite images. Each team receives a different satellite image from a portion of a larger area. If carefully selected, each image could contain information on a portion of a regional story but not the entire story (which could be anything from land use to geomorphic history to structural evolution). After peer teaching, groups put the entire image and data set together to work out the regional picture.
- Google Earth. Each team analyzes different locations in Google Earth that show similar features (e.g., barrier islands, folds, valley glaciers, etc.) but with somewhat different characteristics. After peer teaching, groups work out similarities and differences and develop a composite profile for the feature.
- Hand samples/thin sections. Each team receives a set of thin sections and hand samples showing a particular feature (e.g., crenulation cleavage, feldspar alteration, fossil preservation, etc.) but with somewhat different characteristics. After peer teaching, groups work out similarities and differences and develop a composite profile for the feature.