Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jigsaw Activity in Reading combined with Quick Key app

Chapter 12 of the Spanish reader Robo en la noche is a long chapter compared to the others. I searched the Teacher's CD guide for ideas and it suggested a jigsaw activity to divide the chapter among the students.

I decided to assign the students the jigsaw activity with a bonus incentive to understand and fully share their section of the text to their group members. How? With an informal quiz, that combines all the scores for one group, worth a bonus point for the group with the highest score.  See the explanation below.

1. I wrote the list (on the right) on the board. I told students there needed to sign up for 1 of the 6 groups but also cautioned them that the groups are not what they may think they are.  

2. Before class, I wrote the following information to show each group what section of the chapter they had to read.

The students sat with their group and read their section of the chapter. When they were finished I collected the books.

3. Students moved to their letter group, so in the A group there was a student that read section 1 (1A), another student that read section 2 (2B), etc.
    Starting with 1A (or 2A, 3A, & 4A in the other groups), the student explained to their group what happened in their section of the text. Then 2A explained the next section, and so forth.

4. Students returned to their assigned seats. They (individually - not a group quiz) took a 13 point multiple-choice quiz on information from chapter 12, recording their answer on a Quick Key scantron sheet. (This can be done without the Quick Key app, but if you want to grade their answers quickly to find a group total, Quick Key is definitely the way to go!) 

5. I called Group A and they brought their Quick Key scantron sheets to my desk. I scanned them using my iPhone and the Quick Key app, tallied the total of the 6 scores, and wrote their total on the board. I tallied the other 3 group scores in the same manner.

6.  The group with the highest total received credit for 1 bonus point on their next quiz.

Two additional comments: 

- Before they got into their number group (their first group), I stressed that it was VERY IMPORTANT for them to fully understand what they read because they were going to be quizzed on it for extra credit.  Only after they moved into their letter groups, did I tell them they their letter group was the group that was going to work together for points. (My tricky way of mixing up the groups.  As I had predicted would happen, when the students signed up for the number groups, they signed up to work with their friends.  When they moved the 2nd time to their letter groups, it was a different mix of students, allowing them to work with others they may not have chosen on their own - a nudge to help them with their social skills.) 

- After I had tallied the scores and found the winning group in one class, a student raised her hand and said she was confused about what happened in the second half. (Several people in her group had spent more time talking in their # groups instead of fully understanding the text.) I chose the winning group to explain each section to the class to clear up any misunderstandings.  They didn't mind being called out on that because, after all, they were the winning group.


  1. I love your idea and could see using this for upper level classes like AP which would read a more difficult passage.

  2. Excellent task and, I agree with previous comment so it could be applicable to other levels as PBL

  3. This is the best explanation I found online for this kind of activity. Thank you so much

  4. What happens if you do not have an even number of students? For example, what if there is no one for group 6 letter D? What happens when they transition into their letter groups?