Mini-whiteboard jigsaws

An organising technique and resource for discussion. Good for revision, for practising retrieval and for deepening thinking. (Good for all ages, too.)

Step 1

Using sharp scissors, cut up some mini-whiteboards to make a set of unique, four-piece jigsaws, like this. (This is surprisingly quick and easy to do, and oddly satisfying.)

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You now have a robust, re-usable resource.

Step 2

On each jigsaw, use a board pen to write four connected things which you want pupils to think about. These might be terms, facts, quotations, diagrams, concepts or any other fragments of knowledge. Each jigsaw should have a different theme or connecting principle. Like this.

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Or this.

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Or this.

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Or this.

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Or this.

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Step 3

Mix up the jigsaws and distribute all the pieces around the class, so that each pupil has one piece. (If there are ‘remaindered’ pieces, make these available to find on a table.)

The class then have to mill about looking for the other parts of their jigsaws. This involves some trial and error, but mostly a lot of talk about what’s on the jigsaws.

It ends with the pupils all in fresh groups of four, with each group sitting around a completed jigsaw.

Step 4

Now, each group has to discuss their four things and what connects them. They prepare an explanation for the rest of the class, during which they can be challenged further by lots of teacher questioning.

Step 5

Wipe clean and pack away for another time.

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