The Puzzle Method and Writing

Deena Seifert, M.S., CCC-SLP
Deena Seifert,

Beth shared The Puzzle Method with us, which helps writers develop main ideas and key details.  I’ve borrowed her puzzle idea and started using it with my elementary school writers who are writing sentences to describe pictured situations.  Sometimes students are overwhelmed with the many actions in a picture and don’t know where to start.

“Taking a page” from Beth’s strategies, I make a photocopy of a picture and cut it up into puzzle pieces.  The student puts the puzzle together, determines the main idea of the picture and creates a topic sentence.

After writing the topic sentence, the student chooses one of the puzzle pieces and writes a sentence about it, and so on with each puzzle piece until a sentence has been formulated about each puzzle piece.  Finally, we work on formulating the concluding sentence.

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This method can be used to create compound and complex sentences by using 2 or more puzzle pieces:

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Breaking a picture up into defined puzzle pieces, breaks down the activity for the student and decreases the frustration that can be caused with a multi-step writing activity.