Jigsaw Reading

      This is a reading and speaking activity that provides practice in giving clear instructions and explaining the rules of a game. As an extension activity students can play the games.

      Activity: Jigsaw reading

      Activity type: Reading, note-taking and speaking

      Level: Up to B1.

      Age: Adults or Senior YLs


      • Divide students into four groups, A, B, C and D. 
      • On the board write:

      What’s your favourite game?
      How do you play it?

      • Students take turns in explaining the rules of their favourite game to their group.
      • Give each group their corresponding text (A, B. C or D).


      • Students read their text carefully, making sure they understand the rules of the game. They should clarify any doubts between them.
      • Tell students that they are going to explain the rules of their game to somebody else. They cannot refer to their original text but they can make brief notes to help them remember. Note: Encourage students to write brief notes by providing small pieces of paper or sticky notes.
      • Regroup students into groups of 4 (A, B, C and D). 
      • Each student takes turn to explain the rules of their game to the other 3 group members. Students should be encouraged to ask and answer questions to ensure understanding.


      As a follow up, ask each group to choose one of the games and to play it.

      By Katherine Bilsborough

      The worksheets are downloadable and in MS Word format - right click on the attachments below and save them on your computer.

      Copyright - please read

      All the materials on these pages are free for you to download and copy for educational use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place these materials on any other web site without written permission from the BBC and British Council. If you have any questions about the use of these materials please email us at: teachingenglish@britishcouncil.org


      Jigsaw reading worksheet.doc39 KB
      Average: 3.1 (64 votes)


      racejimbarbara's picture
      Submitted on 1 February, 2011 - 22:13

      My students really enjoyed this activity provided by Katherine Bilsborough.  I conveniently had two groups of four, so I could support both groups.  They are an advanced group of retired people who come to learn English for fun. They all gave good explanations, the groups chose different games to play and the games were successful.  I shall reuse the games, without the prior explanation and discussion activity, with lower level learners.  Thank you,  Katherine

      Angela.C's picture
      Submitted on 16 February, 2011 - 23:44

      Excelent activity . thanks

      besa furxhi's picture
      besa furxhi
      Submitted on 23 March, 2011 - 20:17

      very interesting

      Umakelly's picture
      Submitted on 19 April, 2011 - 16:02

      I used this with teachers where the objective was to make them speak English and give clear instructions. The activity worked like a dream.

      Gulshan Huseynli's picture
      Gulshan Huseynli
      Submitted on 4 May, 2011 - 12:45

      I think this is a good activity. Students sometimes have problems in understanding instructions given by teachers. I liked it because here they are giving instructions to each other. It also involves questioning and answering which is great. At the end they have freedom of  choice which students admire. I have done it with the text. They read  different parts of the same text in different groups and then I regroup them and they give information about their part of the text. At the end they have the whole text. Good activity that can make reading interesting.

      agayeva shefeq7394's picture
      agayeva shefeq7394
      Submitted on 18 May, 2011 - 05:30

      This activity is really a wonderful resource for us busy teachers. Thanks