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Implementation Entry 2 – Jigsaw Activity – Scarcity, Grade 3 August 3, 2013


The students who will participate in this lesson are from an affluent and ethnically diverse community in Western Washington and attend a school that currently has 612 students enrolled. This particular school has been named one of Washington State’s High Achieving Award Winning schools and recently received the School of Distinction Award. This elementary school enjoys a high level of involvement from parents and consistently reports 100% PTSA membership.


Third Grade Social Studies Power Standard 2: Understands and analyzes the costs and benefits of people’s decisions to move and relocate to meet their needs and wants.

Essential understandings:

  • Students understand the impact of scarcity on their personal life and on the households, businesses, governments, and societies in which they are participants.
  • The condition of scarcity requires people to choose among alternatives and bear the consequences.

Lesson target: Identifies possible choices people must make when a resource is scarce and predicts the consequences of these choices.


Students will have participated in a previous lesson that focused on the definition of “scarcity” in regards to a resource and will be familiar with the term.

  • Expert Group:
    • Students will find their designated expert group-mates and will watch the video or read the material pertaining to a specific scarcity event. As a group, they will complete the Expert Group Task Sheet (file also included under “Artifacts” section of this document). As I considered possible student responses to the task sheet for the water scarcity video, I was able to spot some trouble areas that will need to be addressed. These areas are described in red on the Expert Group Task Sheet-Sample (also included under “Artifacts”). Possible student responses are noted in script font on the sample sheet.
    • I presented this section of the lesson to a student entering the third grade in the school referenced in “Classroom Context” above. Her responses to the task sheet are included in the document titled “Expert Group Task Sheet- Student Sample”. This example shows me that this student was able to determine the scarce resource, identify the choices made, and recognize the associated consequences. I can also see from this example that this student was able to link choices made in a scarcity event to her own life. I would like to follow up with her to see if she can determine whether or not her scarcity involves a want or a need.
    • I anticipate that this expert group activity will provide a focus for group members that will allow them to identify the critical content of their resource. In turn, they will be prepared to share and teach the material to their Home Group.
    • Home Group:
      • Each member of the Expert Group will receive a copy of their Expert Group Task Sheet to serve as a guide when sharing the information with their partner in the Home Group.
      • Each pair member will receive a Home Group Task Sheet to complete which will record the material that is learned during the Home Group session.
      • Each student “teacher” will monitor his/her partner’s learning by comparing notes on the Expert Group Task Sheet with the partner’s “What I Learned” section. Inconsistencies will be discussed and corrected.
    • Debriefing:
      • Students will conduct a full-class discussion. Students will discuss and share material learned according to their Home Group Task Sheet. The student “teachers” of the material, as well as the classroom teacher, will discuss and support this learning.
      • My job during this period will be to ensure that critical content is covered accurately and that any home group concerns are addressed.
    • Group Processing:
      • Discuss the jigsaw process as a whole group. Delineate what worked well and what did not work well. Set goals for future Jigsaw activities.
      • I anticipate that this first experience of Jigsaw will have areas of improvement, particularly in the Home Group activities. Home Group interactions are occurring once removed from the original event resource (video or reading) and are being delivered by students who only recently learned the material. The uncovering of areas of improvement will be celebrated as goals are set for the next Jigsaw.
    • Opportunities for differentiation
      • As groups are formed by the teacher, student ability levels and prior knowledge can be considered. Teachers can group and assign roles to students in the expert groups that will be supportive of their strengths and needs.
      • Student characteristics and personalities can also be considered during the forming of groups. Gender, age, ethnicity, culture, language factors, social and emotional maturity, learning styles and leadership qualities are factors that can contribute to effective heterogonous groupings.
      • Students that struggle in reading skills can be assigned to an expert group that uses a video as a resource. Support in reading and writing can be available by peers during the task sheet portion of the experience.
      • As students are engaged in the group discussions, teachers can be available to offer support and challenge to students as needed.


Expert Group Task Sheet

Expert Group Task Sheet-Sample

Expert Group Task Sheet- Student Sample

Home Group Task Sheet


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