Jigsaw Reading Using Reader’s Digest®
I first learned about Jigsaw Reading at a Master Teachers’ Institute which I attended last year. Instead of assigning an entire story or article to a class to read individually, the reading is divided up into passages and each student is assigned one passage to read silently. After the class has had enough time to read their passages, each student will give an oral summary of his individual passage to the class.
Instead of working with the class as a whole, you can group the students and have each group read a different article. Then each student in a group will share his passage from the article with the other students in his group. Another way to use groups is to assign each group a different passage from the same article and have one student from each group summarize the group’s passage. Then you could ask if anyone in the group wanted to add to this summary.
I have used articles from the Reader’s Digest® with my ABE/GED classes. They are not very lengthy, but they are generally about topics of interest to most students. The reading level makes most students comfortable with the vocabulary. Since they are reading with the purpose of summarizing, I find that having a specific purpose helps my students focus while reading.
I have discovered several advantages of Jigsaw Reading. One advantage is that each student’s passage is relatively short and doesn’t take much time to read. Another is that the students learn to look for the main ideas when reading. Jigsaw reading can also build cooperation among students. The student can learn about the entire article, even though he or she is only assigned a small portion to read. Also, students gain confidence in sharing with the class. The articles chosen can be from various content areas, such as science, health, geography or government. You may also want to use a particular reading as a springboard into a discussion of a particular topic and allow the students to share their own opinions about the subject.
About the Author
With a background in teaching math at the community college and secondary level, Vicki Angel joined the Bowie-Cass Adult Education Cooperative in Texarkana five years ago. She works with ABE and GED students. She is teaching at the Academic Learning Center and the Texarkana Youth Association. Vicki has completed the Master Teacher Institute and is currently a participant in the Special Learning Needs Resource Specialist Training Program and the Teacher Credential Program. She has a B.S. in Math from Sam Houston State University and an M.S. in Education and Math from East Texas State University at Texarkana.