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Protocol Toolkit Item: 2b

Jigsaw Style Document/Article Review

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A collaborative learning process used to review an article or document so all participants leave with strong understanding. A strategy developed initially by Elliot Aronson in 1971 for use in multicultural classrooms.


Article copies Highlighters Poster paper or presentation slide Markers


60 Minutes


Facilitators should prepare copies of the article they wish participants to review. Jigsaw groups should have the same number of members (teams of 2 to 5 work best). Before the session, divide the article into sections based on the number of jigsaw teams that will be developed. The sections should be similar in length or content. Note: If the article does not have clear headings and sections, it may be helpful to add notations to the article that indicate the sections each team will be responsible for reading and sharing. These notations can be added before copying and sharing with the whole group. Virtual Implementation
  • An electronic copy of the article should be made available to every participant.
  • Breakout groups in virtual meetings should be used to create a space for teams to work together.
  • In place of chart paper, teams can prepare their summaries on a presentation slide to be displayed while they share.


Step 1:

Introduce Protocol (10 minutes) Share the following information with participants:
  • The group will be gathering information by reading an article about the topic. Rather than reading individually, the group will use a collaborative process that helps us by building on each other’s knowledge and understanding. 
  • The group will be divided into teams. Each team will be responsible for reading a section of the article and reporting the content of that section to the whole group. 
  • As teams report to the whole group, they will share a visual representation (poster or presentation slide) of their section’s main ideas and key details so that the other teams who did not read that particular section get the important information it conveyed. 
  • Teams are encouraged to use images, words, and other creative means to create their visual representation.
  • Provide the group with the timeline, e.g., teams will have 30 minutes to read their section, create their visual representation, and prepare to share. Each team will have 5-8 minutes to share their article section with the whole group, including any clarifying questions other teams may have.
Note: The timeframe can be adjusted as needed. The length of the article and the number of teams will determine if more or less time is required for the Jigsaw team time and the team share out with the whole group.
  • Allow participants to ask questions and get clarification on the Jigsaw process.

Step 2:

Jigsaw Team Time (30 minutes)
  • Teams should begin by reading the article individually, highlighting or using other notations to indicate the main ideas and key details that need to be shared.
  • After individually reading the article, the team should share their notations and come to a consensus on what they want to share.
  • The team then develops the visual representation and prepares speaking notes. More than one team member should be encouraged to present to the whole group.
  • The facilitator should support the teams as they work by answering any questions and providing guidance as needed.
  • Facilitators may want to use team roles to create a more structured process. See suggested team roles in the Resources section.

Step 3:

Jigsaw Team Share Out (20 minutes)
  • Each Jigsaw team will display their visual representation and share their section of the article with the other teams.
  • Participants may be encouraged to take notes on the main ideas and key details shared by teams.
  • After all teams have presented, participants should have a strong understanding of all the information shared in the article.

Resources & Further Reading

Jigsaw Team Roles

Examples of Use

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