Reflection: High Quality Task Evidence for Evolution - Morphology - Section 2: Morphology Jigsaw Reading


A jigsaw is a learning activity that emphasizes cooperative learning by giving students an opportunity to actively help each other build comprehension. Jigsaws are particularly relevant to science because they model the way in which scientists actually work. In the real world groups of experts often come together to accomplish a goal or work on a project. Jigsaws can also encourage student ownership of the material, as they become the go-to person for a specific area of expertise. 

In a traditional jigsaw, you start by dividing students into groups. Each group focuses on a different concept or section of a reading, and then is given time to discuss what they learned in order to clarify ideas. When they complete the work, the students form new groups, and each "expert" shares what they have learned. The new group then creates a product to show their collective mastery. This works well when the second group is small (no more than 5 students).

If I followed a traditional jigsaw for this lesson, my second groups would have been too large (11 students) to allow each expert to hold the attention of the group for very long, and they would have had to use presentation voices to be heard. So I decided to modify the jigsaw a bit.

I start like a traditional jigsaw, assigning a reading to be done individually by counting off, and then having students come together to clarify ideas. What I changed is the second part. Instead of having "experts" come together into a big group, they created a mini-poster, and presented it to the class. This had the added benefit of allowing students to practice presentation skills, including posture, eye contact and voice modulation.

For more information on jigsaw activities, you may want to visit EducationWorld.

  Jigsaw Strategy
  High Quality Task: Jigsaw Strategy
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Evidence for Evolution - Morphology

Unit 8: Evolution
Lesson 10 of 17

Objective: Students will be able to describe similarities in morphology as evidence for evolution.

Big Idea: Patterns reveal evolutionary relationships

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15 teachers like this lesson
Science, Evolution, Genetics, fossil record (Evolution), natural selection (Evolution), fossils, genetic drift, cladistics, mutations, embryology
  55 minutes
comparative view of the human and elephant frame  benjamin waterhouse hawkins  1860
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