Jigsaw Success!

I love teachingchannel.org – videos of teachers demoing a great lesson that aligns with Common Core standards.

We had a shining moment today.

Some background:
My 6 high readers are doing independent study and finishing TKAM at a faster pace. The rest of my class, I decided, will be only reading to Ch 22 (after the trial) and then will watch the movie. Basically, I just want my kids to know the plot of To kill a mockingbird, trace the character growth, and focus on the three main ideas of racism, coming of age, and the concept of justice.

TODAY, i tried to cover 3 chapters in one go by doing the jigsaw activity I saw modeled in one of the videos. This failed miserably during social studies..
in literature….

I split them into 3 groups of 6 and the kids read the chapter out loud. I noticed some kids would pause the group to ask, “What did we just read?” and people were already practicing paraphrasing, etc.

It took a good 30 minutes for the group to read a chapter and then fill out the graphic organizer i Provided them with. Some kids practiced their oral summaries.

Then, I split them up into 6 groups of 3, one from each chapter, and timed them 4 minutes. 4 minutes was ample time to get the summary, and it was SO cool hearing kids see the pieces fall in together (the kids assigned the last chapter, for instance, were confused about what came before). There were lots of “Ohs” and “What?” and the kids, intent on making sure their summaries were good, asked probing questions to the summary people.

Some things I learned:
I have some kids who do really well in homework, but don’t actually comprehend what they read. Yikes!

This required a LOT of work, but everyone was involved – I was so surprised.

I’m wondering if this would have been good for my 6 high kids…

I’m wondering what their summaries will look like tomorrow…..


(It helped that the interest level grew because these were the chapters where Jem lost his pants and a treasure tree’s hole got plugged up).

After we slog through Chs 8-10 (although that part where Atticus shoots the dog is pretty epic), we are getting into the Robinson Trial!
I STILL remember how astonished I was when Atticus does the big reveal, and we find out.. that….. HE DIDN’T HAVE AN ARM!!!!!! I felt the weight of that injustice!!

And I hope my kids feel it too.
And the only way they’ll feel it is if I go at a reasonable pace.. which means we’re not finishing the novel in 3 weeks. We’ll finish 2/3rds of it.

Anyway, that’s all.


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