Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > Jigsaws > What are Jigsaws
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What are Jigsaws

The jigsaw technique can be used equally well for assignments involving data analysis or field work and for assignments involving reading. The following example provides a simple illustration of the elements of the jigsaw technique using an assignment that requires no student preparation before class.

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A sample jigsaw

This jigsaw assignment comes from a course in which the instructor wanted to give students experience in interpreting structures in map view. The picture at right shows the fabulous satellite image of the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco that forms the basis of the assignment.
puzzle graphics by Barbara Tewksbury, with background ASTER image from NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and the U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

graphic of jigsaw teams

graphic of jigsaw mixed groups

graphic of jigsaw group task

Analysis of the assignment

An analysis of the assignment shows the hallmarks of the jigsaw technique:

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