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Puzzles With Partners

Subjects

• Arts & Humanities
--Visual Arts
• Mathematics
--Statistics
• Physical Education
--Games

• K-2
• 3-5
• 6-8
• 9-12

Brief Description

A fun reward activity involves puzzles and cooperative groups.

Objectives

Students

• work together cooperatively.

Keywords

puzzle, jigsaw puzzle, reward

Materials Needed

This activity requires jigsaw puzzles that can be purchased on many dollar stores. It works best with multiple copies of the same puzzle. That way, teams of kids can compete to see which team is able to put together the identical puzzle in the shortest amount of time. If you purchase jigsaw puzzles at your local dollar store, be sure to purchase puzzles that are appropriate for the age of the students you teach. If you teach third grade, for example, you might purchase puzzles that have 50-100 puzzle pieces.

Lesson Plan

This is a fun activity to do as a reward at the end of the week. It could also be used as a math-class activity; students can graph the amount of time it takes different teams to complete each puzzle.

Arrange students into pairs or groups of three or four. Provide each group with a jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle each group receives should be as close to equal in difficulty as can be.

The ideal would be to purchase multiple copies of the same puzzle. If you cannot do that, then puzzles from the same manufacturer that are equal in size and number of puzzle pieces should set up a fair competition.

When you give the go-ahead signal, student pairs or groups are to open the puzzle boxes and begin working on their puzzles. Which group finishes first? How long did it take them to complete the puzzle? How long does it take each group to complete the puzzle?

More Tips

• Tell students at the start of the activity that the emphasis is less on speed of puzzle completion and more on each team's ability to work together to accomplish the task.
• You might set a "quiet" rule. That adds an extra challenge. Teams must work together without saying a word!
• With multiple puzzles being worked on, puzzle pieces can sometimes get mixed up. While it might take time, before putting a puzzle out for student use you might number each puzzle and then write on the back of each puzzle piece the number of that puzzle. (This is a job that teachers in grades 3 and up might have students do.) That way, if you find a piece of a puzzle on the floor, you will know immediately in which puzzle box it belongs.
• When one group of students completes the puzzle, in order to keep them busy you might have the group members split up; each group member will help another team complete their puzzle.
• For a more challenging activity, buy more difficult puzzles.

Assessment

Did students work well together? At the end of the activity, you might have teams reflect on why they succeeded/did not succeed in completing the puzzle successfully or quickly.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

National Standards

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.5-8.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.9-12.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas

MATHEMATICS: Geometry
NM-GEO.PK-2.4 Use Visualization, Spatial Reasoning, and Geometric Modeling to Solve Problems
NM-GEO.3-5.4 Use Visualization, Spatial Reasoning, and Geometric Modeling to Solve Problems
NM-GEO.6-8.4 Use Visualization, Spatial Reasoning, and Geometric Modeling to Solve Problems
NM-GEO.9-12.4 Use Visualization, Spatial Reasoning, and Geometric Modeling to Solve Problems

MATHEMATICS: Problem Solving
NM-PROB.PK-12.2 Solve Problems That Arise in Mathematics and in Other Contexts
NM-PROB.PK-12.3 Apply and Adapt a Variety of Appropriate Strategies to Solve Problems
NM-PROB.PK-12.4 Monitor and Reflect on the Process of Mathematical Problem Solving

PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH: Physical Education
NPH.K-12.6 Respect for Others
NPH.K-12.7 Understanding Challenges

See more Lesson Plans of the Day in our Lesson Plan of the Day Archive. (There you can search for lessons by subject too.) For additional math lesson plans, see these Education World resources:

• Lesson Planning: Math
• Math Subject Center
• Teacher-Submitted Lesson Plans: Math
• Calculator Lessons from Texas Instruments
• Math Cross Puzzles
• It All Adds Up Puzzles
• Work Sheets from Teacher Created Materials: Math

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