Reflection: Diverse Entry Points FIELD STUDY: Community Food Survey and Aquaponics (1 of 3) - Section 3: EXPLORE: Are there food deserts in New York City?


In a typical jigsaw activity, student structure their own learning.  The teacher places students in groups with each member assigned to a different piece of content.  Each group member then joins with other students in the room that were assigned the same content.  Together, students in this new group will norm understanding.  Then students return to their original group and teach each other all of the content. In this way, each student is a jigsaw piece that eventually forms a whole puzzle.

There are many classrooms that are well suited for jigsaw.  However, I have found that many of my students struggle with transitions, especially for students that are learning English and students that have Individualized Education Plans.  As such, while I am an advocate for students working with as many peers as possible, in many instances, students' ability to focus and feel successful in a group may be more important than maintaining a traditional jigsaw structure.  As such, for this learning activity, rather than mixing groups, students stay in the same group the entire time.  The "flash publication" allow students to teach each other content, but individual students do not leave the safety of the group.

Additionally, having students annotate a class map is a way of sharing and norming understanding without relying on speaking and listening.  Again, for students that may struggle with expressing ideas verbally, group annotation provides an edifying learning opportunity.  Students can contribute ideas and learn from each other without language barriers.

  Jigsaw variation
  Diverse Entry Points: Jigsaw variation
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FIELD STUDY: Community Food Survey and Aquaponics (1 of 3)

Unit 5: Food (biosphere and geosphere)
Lesson 6 of 24

Objective: Students will be able to 1) construct a map of known food resources in Sunset Park; 2) explain the concept of a food desert; and 3) assess the local Sunset Park community against criteria of a food desert.

Big Idea: Food deserts are a persistent feature of many urban environments. How might we interact with our local community in order to develop real-world solutions that address the problems created by food deserts?

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