Using Padlet for a Digital Jigsaw
The jigsaw activity has always been a great collaborative activity, especially because it provides multiple opportunities for collaboration within the lesson. Another aspect of the jigsaw I appreciate is the flexibility it allows for time. This can work as a short warm-up activity or as an extended lesson in class, depending on what is needed.
Padlet is an awesome site for completing a digital jigsaw activity. As my students learn their poetic terms, they need opportunities to both refine their definition of the term as well as to create their own examples, which allows for them to demonstrate understanding. With Padlet, I created five different groups and gave each group one term. Working together, the groups had to communicate and collaborate about who would be responsible for which piece, as well as making sure their other members understand what is going on.
In taking Bloom’s Taxonomy into consideration, I wanted to make sure that students had an opportunity to progress through the various levels to demonstrate a deeper understanding than just knowing a definition. The lesson starts with the definition, which finds students working at the lowest level of Bloom’s, the Knowledge level. The next step, the creation of examples, finds students in the middle level of Bloom’s, in the Application level. The added step, where groups evaluate each other’s work, finds students finishing at the highest level of Bloom’s, the Evaluation level.
I told my students before the lesson that anyone could post to any part of the wall at any time, and there was no way for me to be able to tell who was posting what. “You shouldn’t have told us that,” one student said. “You should have said you could track everything.” I explained that with that knowledge, they could basically do whatever they wanted on the page, but that I was trusting them to do the right thing. Besides, if you know I’m lying to you about this just to scare you, when would you take me seriously? I also explained that I could delete and shut down the page if I had to, but that I didn’t think it would come to that, and, as expected, it didn’t. I was impressed with how, even though there were some off-task comments, how respectful students were with posting in the right places and not purposefully covering their classmates’ posts. Even more impressive, however, was that during the evaluation part of this lesson, one student noticed that another group had struggled with their part. Instead of writing that on their page for the class to see, he went over to those students and talked to them about what he had seen and what he thought they could do to improve their part. I’m sure those students were very appreciative of how it was addressed, and they quickly improved their part without feeling any public embarrassment in class.
I’ve also used the jigsaw concept when reinforcing literary terms like plot, conflict, theme, etc. One of our more artistic teachers drew a gigantic jigsaw puzzle on butcher paper and each group had a piece to complete based on a short story they had read. For example, students would not only describe the setting, but they would describe and draw the setting from the story they had read as a class. This was done as a review activity, and the puzzle was assembled on the wall as a great tool for students to use whenever they had a question on literary terms.
I’ve found for the jigsaw activity to work well whether students are just being introduced to new concepts or reviewing previously taught concepts.