Use this activity just for fun or to assess students' cooperative-work skills. It makes a nice activity for use at holiday parties, as a time-filler, or as a cooperative-work assessment. Links to cooperative group assessment rubrics included.
puzzle, cooperation, cooperative group, race, filler, holiday
This activity is good for use as a whole-class reward or a quick activity when you have time to spare. It is a good activity for building cooperative-working and visual skills too. You could use this activity and a "cooperation rubric" (samples offered) as an assessment tool for "grading" students cooperative work aptitude.
Before the Lesson
Purchase large, colorful gift bags. These can often be found at discount prices at "dollar stores" and big-box department stores such as WalMart. Purchase enough gift bags to have one for every two to five students. Cut from the bags the large, flat image areas (often the same image appears on both sides of the bag, so you can get two images from each bag) and then cut those images into jigsaw-puzzle pieces appropriate for the age of your students. For older students, make the activity more challenging by using bags with more abstract or complicated images.
Explain the Race
The idea behind the puzzle race is simple. Arrange students into pairs or small groups; two or three students might make an ideal group size, but four or five would be workable and would challenge students in the group to be sure they involve all members as they work cooperatively.
Provide a puzzle for each group to work. Then give the "start" signal. Which group will be the first to complete their puzzle?
AssessmentIf you use this activity as a race, the first team to complete their puzzle is the winner.
If you use this activity to assess students' cooperative-working skills you might share your assessment rubric in advance so students know how they will be assessed. You might use one of the rubrics below; or you might adapt these to create your own.
Lesson Plan Source
FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
GRADES K - 4
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
GRADES 5 - 8
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
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