Jigsaw a document or book

The Tool

This is a collaborative learning strategy that encourages individuals to develop their own knowledge and understanding and then share that knowledge and understanding with the group.

This is an adaptation of the Jigsawing tool. It is applied to reading a document or a book.

Each person is assigned a particular part section of a document or chapter of a book to read. The different sections or chapters are then put together using visual materials and facilitation techniques.

How to use

  • develop comparative thinking
  • develop synthesis skills
  • review multiple parts of an issue and then put together to form a bigger picture
  • knowledge sharing

As a leader jig-sawing a large document or book can have many uses, some of which could be:

  • Reviewing policy documents
  • Sharing recent research documents in a quick and collaborative manner
  • great for breaking up complex documents


  • Assign each individual a section of a research document or a chapter of a book to read.
  • Provide them with a scaffolding structure to search for understanding and meaning within the reading.
  • Each person then shares their knowledge and understanding with the group and the 'jigsaw' comes together.

Here is a template you could use when using this method with a large article or a book.


For an example of how you can use this protocol to carry out focused reading of a book click on Are you a change leader? where I have used this tool to explore Michael Fullan's book Change Leader.

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