|The "Prairie Tour" is an example of a comprehensive unit that combines the interdisciplinary approach with the integration
of information technology. Within this unit, compulsory core subject areas are integrated using an interdisciplinary theme focused
on a real-world context. The conceptual theme of a virtual prairie tour was chosen as the context for integrating the four compulsory
core subject areas: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Whenever possible, two or three subject areas
are combined within a single learning experience to enable students to achieve several learning outcomes simultaneously.
|"Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race.
Good learning, like good work,
is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning.
Sharing one's ideas and responding to others' improves thinking and deepens understanding." (Chickering & Gamsom, 1987, p. 4)
|"Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers,
memorizing prepackaged assignments,
and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it
to their daily lives. They must be active participants to make what they learn a part of themselves." (Chickering & Gamson, 1987, p. 5)
| Suggestions for a "Jigsaw" Classroom
1. Divide students into diverse jigsaw groups of three or four members each.
2. Appoint one student from each group as the leader.
3. Divide the project into four or five topics.
(Example: Canada -geography -history -natural resources -tourism -general information)
4. Assign one or two topics to students of each group, instructing students to collect research only for their own topics.
5. Give students time to research their topic to become familiar with it.
6. Form temporary "expert groups" by having one student from each group join other students assigned with the same topics.
7. Give students in these expert groups time to discuss research and to rehearse presentations.
8. Bring the students back into their jigsaw groups.
9. Ask each student to present her or his topic to the group.
10. Encourage others in the group to ask questions for clarification.
11. Float from group to group, observing the process, offering assistance, and making any appropriate interventions.
12. At the end of the session, give a quiz/test on the material.