Abstract 5, Volume 10, Number 2, Summer 2015

The Jigsaw Revisited: Common Core Social Studies and English Language Arts Integration

Scott L. Roberts

Betsy VanDeusen-MacLeod

Central Michigan University


In order to comply with the new Common Core standards, it is imperative teachers, particularly those at the elementary levels, incorporate English/Language Arts (ELA) in their social studies classes. These reading, writing, speaking, and listening foci, through the use of informational texts, necessitate strategies to help students meet these standards. They also help students learn social studies content and gain historical understanding. Teachers can meet these standards through an adapted Jigsaw strategy using primary source materials. We review a modified Jigsaw strategy; we call a “Source-Focused Jigsaw.” An aspect of this type of Jigsaw is its allowance of students to focus on the similarities and differences between multiple documents, which is a specific emphasis of the Common Core Standards. This strategy allows young learners to think like a historian and to understand various sources often contain different information. They also learn multiple sources may be necessary to for decision-making. The authors provide lesson examples of its use with social studies informational texts and ELA.

Keywords: Common Core standards, elementary education, English/Language Arts, jigsaw strategy, social studies, Paul Revere

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