How to use jigsaw puzzles to spice up your lessons - 8 Free jigsaw examples

The first jigsaw puzzle goes back to the 1760s when European map makers pasted maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces. It’s an ancient educational tool that was intended to teach students to put together maps about their country or the world.

In this blog post, I’m showing you how to use a jigsaw puzzle in your lessons. I created digital jigsaw puzzles for elementary students and jigsaw puzzles for high school students. You’ll see that you can use a jigsaw puzzle in all courses. I also included a few other ways to use a jigsaw puzzle. Make sure to read the post all the way. You’ll be surprised about the power of this digital jigsaw puzzle!

The advantage of using jigsaw puzzles in the classroom

Today, a jigsaw puzzle in the classroom is more often used as a game. Of course, you can use these puzzle games to teach your students a valuable lesson as well.

That said, the biggest advantage of using jigsaw puzzles in your lesson is the possibility to combine a fun and interactive teaching method with an educational valuable lesson. Students aren’t just making a jigsaw, they’re learning and practising as well.

Jigsaw puzzles are the perfect way for students to practice learning material with each other. And while doing so, they train their brain by thinking logically when putting all the pieces together.

Then, of course, there’s the digital jigsaw puzzle benefit: create one in just a few minutes and share it with your students anytime, anywhere.

8 Ways to use a digital jigsaw puzzle in your lessons

It takes a lot of work to create a jigsaw puzzle by hand. I have an easier and much quicker way for you to create a jigsaw puzzle from scratch.

All the jigsaw puzzles you will see in this blog post are made in just a few minutes with BookWidgets. Just upload an image and decide in how many pieces you want to divide it. Now you just have to share the puzzle link with your students. That’s just how quickly you can make an online jigsaw puzzle with BookWidgets.

Tip: If you want to use the free jigsaw puzzles that are featured in this post, just copy the link and share it with your students.

As you should know by now, making jigsaw puzzles online is not the only thing you can do with BookWidgets. Create digital crossword riddles, word search puzzles, hangman games, bingo games, quizzes, flashcards and many more.

1. Use jigsaw puzzles in language lessons

Use jigsaw puzzles in language lessons to let students practice their speaking skills. Let your students solve the puzzle and then describe what they see to their fellow students. The puzzle must relate to a lesson topic like the example below. Students have to describe the picture an explain the new words they’ve learned in the foreign language.

Jigsaw puzzles for speaking exercise

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2. Use jigsaw puzzles in math lessons

Take a look at the example below and look at this fun jigsaw puzzle for in your math lessons. It’s some kind of puzzle inside a puzzle that triggers your students' problem-solving thinking.

Jigsaw puzzles in math lessons

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3. Use jigsaw puzzles in geography lessons

As you know, jigsaw puzzles are originally intended to teach students about maps like in the first example below. That’s one way to teach your students to orientate themselves in their country or the world.

Digital jigsaw puzzle about the United States

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Another fun way to use jigsaw puzzles in geography is to teach your students about vegetation like in this simple example of a jigsaw puzzle below:

Jigsaw puzzles in geography lessons

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4. Use jigsaw puzzles in biology lessons

If you look at the examples above, you know now, anything is possible. As jigsaw puzzle example for your biology course, you can ask students to complete an image of a cell structure. Then, they have to explain all the parts of the cell to their fellow students. To make it even harder, ask them to talk about their functions as well.

Jigsaw puzzles in biology lessons - Cell structure

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5. Use jigsaw puzzles in history lessons

There are so many historical places in this world that carry a tragic, interesting or surprising story. Think about Chernobyl, The Chinese wall, the Iron Curtain, The statue of liberty, Versailles, the Colosseum, and so on. If you want your students to explain the history of a place or statue, just let them solve a jigsaw puzzle for fun and as they recognize the picture they have to explain its story to their neighbor.

Jigsaw Puzzles in history lessons

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6. Use jigsaw puzzles to introduce yourself

This introduction game with a jigsaw puzzle is definitely for primary school students. Teachers often introduce themselves by telling their name, hobbies, if they have kids or not, what they like or don’t like and so on. Try to switch things around with a jigsaw activity.

In this example, students have to solve the jigsaw puzzle and find out the story behind the image. The image represents a funny experience the teacher went through at some point in her or his life.

Students will come up with all kinds of theories. Let them tell their stories to each other. In the end, you reveal the true story behind the image.

Jigsaw puzzle introduction game

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Well, what do you think that happened here?

7. Use jigsaw puzzles to introduce a new topic

Using a digital jigsaw puzzle is a very fun and interactive activity when introducing a new lesson topic. Look for a good image that describes your lesson topic and let your students solve the jigsaw puzzle. When completed, they have to explain what the new lesson topic could be.

jigsaw puzzles to introduce a new topic

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As you can see, you can also use jigsaw puzzles in economics lessons. Today’s lesson will teach your students how to save money and what to do with it.

8. Use jigsaw puzzles in art lessons

Paintings! There’s no better way to introduce a famous painting (or artist) than by using a jigsaw puzzle. You can also a jigsaw puzzle so students can learn more about the composition of the painting or to just recognize paintings they just learned about.

Jigsaw puzzles in art lessons

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Here’s a pro tip!

If you want to give your lessons a greater educational value, you can just pair the jigsaw puzzle with another BookWidgets exercise, like in this example below.

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After students figure out the name of the famous painting and the artist, they have to make their own interpretation of the painting and draw it on the whiteboard on the right side.

So that’s all I have for you today! As I’ve mentioned before, you can create these digital jigsaw puzzles for students in just a few minutes. Try it out yourself by clicking on the button below.

Lucie Renard

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Choose from over 40 exercise templates (quizzes, crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, ...), and adapt them with your own content.