A "Jigsaw" Activity

This page was written by Erin Klauk as part of the DLESE Community Services Project: Integrating Research in Education.


Resource development has in the past, and continues to affect Native American lands. Using a case study approach, we will comprehensively attempt to answer the questions below.

What are the benefits from resource development on your assigned Native American area? Who benefits from resource development in this area? What are the impacts (e.g. health, economic) on the peoples and the local environment from resource development in this area?

To explore these issues, use these comprehensive webpages that provide essential information about numerous peoples and topics that address these questions.


We will use the "jigsaw" technique to explore many dimensions of uranium mining on the Navajo Nation. Students will be divided into 3-6 groups. Each group will explore their specific case study in class or at home. Members of each group will become "experts" on your assigned Native American area. Then, the groups will disperse and reassemble into new groups that will include one member from each of the former groups. In the duration of 1-2 class periods, each of the "experts" will provide a brief summary of the essential information about the topics they were assigned to their new group. Finally, in one class period, a general discussion about the overall issues of resource development on Native American lands will be held, addressing the bold questions above.

Group 1:

Explore the Navajo Nation and Uranium Mining.

Group 2:

Explore the Fort Belknap Reservation and Gold Mining

Group 3:

Explore the Crow Reservation and Coal Bed Methane.

Group 4:

Explore the Nez Perce Reservation and Water Resources.

Group 5:

Explore the Pine Ridge Reservation and Gold Mining.

Group 6:

Explore the Resources of the Pribilof Islands.

For further information about teaching with the jigsaw technique see: Barbara Tewksbury, 1995, Specific Strategies for Using the Jigsaw Technique for Working in Groups in Non-Lecture-Based Courses, Journal of Geological Education v 43, p 322-326 [Tewksbury, 1995] .