Newsela 101: Puzzle Activity

Objective:

Students will analyze a text and make connections across a certain topic.

Overview:

A puzzle activity is great when you’re looking for students to analyze smaller pieces of a topic and eventually connect those pieces together. While this activity can be done with groups ranging from 4 to 8, the ideal puzzle size is 9 pieces. No matter the size of the puzzle, the piece in the center will be a topic or the title of the activity.

Prior to the activity, the teacher will create a text set with the same number of articles as there will be puzzle pieces – minus the title piece. For example, with a nine-piece puzzle, the text set would contain eight articles. Each student in the group will pick one article to read and interact with through annotations and the quiz.

After reading, students will design a puzzle piece based on the content of their article. Puzzle pieces can include images, a summary, and evidence supporting how their article connects to the topic. Once each student completes their piece of the puzzle, they will conduct a discussion about their article and puzzle piece with their group. The group can verbally discuss the connections between the articles or they can create a list of all the connections.

Click here for a puzzle piece template. 

Tips and Suggestions:

  • This activity works best when dealing with topics that have many subtopics. For example, the Cold War.
  • This activity can be done by pairing a novel and informative texts about the novel. For example, The Great Gatsby and informative texts about the 1920s.
  • This activity pairs well with social issues. Students can analyze articles concerning the same social movement from many different sources.
Newsela 101: Puzzle Activity
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