Big ideas jigsaw

Efficiently discuss a lengthy professional article during a year-level, stage, faculty or staff meeting.

Duration – 31 minutes

Timing and description for 'Big ideas jigsaw' protocol
Timing Description

Prior to the conversation

The facilitator selects the article and places a stop sign in the margin at about 4 places they feel there should be discussion. Copies of the article (with the stop signs) are then shared with all participants.

If working online, try using the jigsaw template from the digital learning selector to facilitate this session.


2 minutes

The facilitator sets the stage for why this article was selected and reviews the process for engagement.

If there are 4 sections in the text, the participants are placed in groups of 4.

Silent reading

5 minutes

Each person in the group is given a different section of the text to read. They are asked to present the key points or big ideas to their group members.


12 minutes

In order of the sections read, each person says something about the ideas in the text. After each person presents, clarifying questions may be asked. The group should be mindful of the time so that everyone has the opportunity to present ideas.


10 minutes

The small group explores any ideas that surfaced in the presentations.


2 minutes

The facilitator may either do a verbal debrief of what was learned from this discussion or they may have individuals complete an exit ticket as they leave the meeting.

The following prompts can be used for the exit ticket.

What was learned today?

What would you like us to explore further as a staff?

Adapted from Glaude, C (2011) Protocols for Professional Learning Conversations. Cultivating the Art and Discipline. Bloomington: Solution Tree Press

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