The Lucky Reading Jigsaw

If you’re a fan of The Lucky Reading Game, you’re really going to love The Lucky Reading Jigsaw. I daresay it is better than the original…or if not better, definitely on par and more collaborative!

To Prep:

Now I’ll admit, there’s a bit more prep than the trusty standby, but I promise it’s worth it! You’ll need 4 or 5 unique readings, that are all about the same length.

Some ideas: Grab 5 articles from El mundo en tus manos or print out a handful of Star of the Day Write and Discusses. If your class has done a few One Word Images and you’ve typed them up, that would be perfect. Or, if you’re teaching AP and you’re in the Ciencia y Tecnología Unit, I’ve got articles about Latin American Inventions ready for you!

Whatever you use, copy them so you’ve got each unique reading on a unique color, and make sure you’ve got enough copies so that each student will have ONE article to read. (So, if you have a class of 30 and you’ve got 5 articles, you’ll need 6 copies of Article A on blue paper, 6 copies of Article B on yellow paper, 6 copies of Article C on green paper6 copies of Article D on pink paper and 6 copies of Article E on white paper). Remember, our goal is to give them lots of Comprehensible Input, so be sure whatever you pick, it will be understandable to your Little Darlings!

Then create a slideshow with questions. If you’re a Spanish teacher, grab this template, then type in your own questions. If you teach any other language, use this template to change the cards values into your target language, then share it back with me so we can share with others!

I like to type a question on one slide, then duplicate the slide to add the answer below the question on the following slide in a contrasting color, like the example below:

Your questions can be about one specific reading OR something that the readings have in common. If they’re reading Star of the Day bios, “Which students have more pets than siblings?” would be a great question. If they’re reading about Latin American Inventions, “Which invention does not use plants in it’s production?”. If they’re all reading news articles, maybe something like “Which articles feature a Central American country?” or “Two articles have a common theme, which ones and what is it?” I love thinking of questions that require all the Little Darlings to re-read their reading and collaborate with the group. I shoot for 10-15 questions for this game.

To Play:

Pre game: Pass out a reading to each student and then students with the same color paper (same articles) will form a group to read the article together.

Now, if you’ve really got your ducks in a row, you could do a little sneaky differentiation: pick something a little challenging for Article A, and sneakily pass that one out to your high flyers, etc. and maybe another article is a little shorter, a little similar goes to your Little Darlings that need more support. I have not done this with leveled articles…this year it is taking everything I’ve got to get 4 different levels planned and prepped. However, if you’ve got the bandwidth to differentiate, more power to you!

Then jigsaw! Now students form new groups, making sure that each “team” has each article represented in their group. (So now they’ll have a group of 5, with each students having read a different article). If your numbers didn’t work our perfectly…like there’s one group of 4, hand the high flyer of the group the article that they’re missing and have her read it quickly. Don’t stress too much about it, it will be fine. Give them a few minutes to share with their group what their reading was about. Then the game begins:

Unlike in the Lucky Reading Game, no ones goes to the front to answer questions. Everyone stays with their team and they work together to answer each question. Each team needs a mini whiteboard, marker and eraser. The teacher projects a question, the team conferences, re-reading their articles as necessary. When they have their answer, each team writes it on the mini whiteboard. The teacher counts down (give them a minute or two, then as it seems like they’re wrapping it up, start counting 5-4-3-2-1) and on 1 all the teams must stop writing and reveal their answers.

The teacher advances the slide to show the correct answer. Each team who answered correctly gets to draw a card to award points for that round. I use these obnoxiously gigantic cards, but a standard deck will do! (FYI- That link is an Amazon Associates link, so if you buy the cards or anything else from Amazon using that link, you’ll be supporting this little blogcito without any additional cost to you!)

The great thing about this game is that NO ONE knows how many points the other teams have earned each round. NO ONE knows who is winning! Everyone stays engaged, because it’s a total mystery until the end!

Once each team that answered correctly selects a card (I fan them out, face down and let the student who wrote the answer pick their card, then I move to the next correct group), I advance the slideshow to the next question and everyone who wrote the answer to the previous question passes the board to a new teammate (so each round, a new student writes-gotta keep those Little Darlings engaged!) and we begin again. For a team who wrote the incorrect answer, they don’t get to pick a card and they pass the board to get ready for the next round. If you run out of cards while you’re playing, switch to a second deck OR pause, have the teams add up their points and record them, pass back their cards to you and continue playing.

Of course, at the end of the game, teams add up their points and we award the winners. This year the winners get to spin the Wheel of Prizes. (To keep the teams honest, I assign one “auditor” from each team to “audit” the points of another team. While the team counts their point, an “auditor” from any team verifies their total.)

The Lucky Reading Jigsaw has been a homerun game every time we’ve played- hope it is fun for you and your Little Darlings!


  1. Thanks for sending this idea along. I will have to try it sometime when we’re reading a new text (or group of texts) and I like your ideas for differentiating (when we have the bandwidth).

    I wanted to let you know I **FINALLY** successfully implemented the luck reading game and I’m so glad I did. It’s working as a good review of a book we’re reading (we reviewed the 1st chapter today across all my classes using this game and they LOVED it). I think it helps that it’s new and “novel” so it’s mixed things up a bit. Note that I teach novice level students and what I love best about it is that it exercises the reading, listening and the writing skills. Such a great tool for e to know who understands what as well. We did add a “tweak” that I wanted to let you know about. The tweak is simple – and really added a lot to the game. If kids answer in a single correct word/phrase in the TL and it’s correct, they get to draw a card. if they write a sentence and it’s largely correct (95%? – maybe a little bit wrong) they get to take TWO cards. They are all trying to write sentences and its so encouraging. They also are cheering each other on (good classroom vibes/ambiance here) to try and that it’s ok to make mistakes. My students who need more repetition are getting it and those who need more challenge are getting it as well. They are all feeling like it’s comfortable to not know some and several said that they understand the text better or understood the questions after seeing/hearing the correct response.

    Just wanted to share that with you! -Melanie


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