Jigsaw in literacy

When jigsawing, each student selects or is assigned an aspect of the reading or the concepts to be discussed to become an expert on.  This can be used as a pre-reading strategy for providing background knowledge to students or as a during reading strategy to increase close readings of small segments of the text.  The students then come back together to share their area of expertise with the entire group.  This allows students to gain depth of knowledge on a portion of the reading and breadth of knowledge on the entire reading.

Jigsaw in music

Jigsaw can be used to both prepare students for studying a piece of music and for allowing for deeper analysis of music during study.  When preparing for music study, students can be provided with different aspects of the piece to be studied.  For example, if an ensemble is studying Charles Ives’ Variations on America, different students could be assigned to research theme and variations form, Charles Ives, the history of the melody America, early 20th century New England music, bitonality, and other key concepts.  The students then could come together to discuss these elements and use that knowledge as they begin to study the piece in performance and analysis. 


Jigsawing could also be used as a rehearsal technique.  Each student could be assigned a different musical element to focus on and analyze the ensemble performance for effective execution of rhythm, pitch, articulation, style, balance, etc.  This provides a thorough analysis by students of the music as well as individual responsibility for musical awareness and critique.