Jigsaw puzzles

One of my favorite things to do to for family fun is to work on a jigsaw puzzle. I used to have a puzzle for students to work on in the back of the room when they finished their work early or got to class a little early. Many students loved it and often came in before school and after to work on the puzzle. So, why not play a puzzle on the SMART or another Interactive Whiteboard? The puzzle can be used to accomplish many things. Bring focus to a learning objective in a manner that stimulates and engages students quickly. Make a puzzle from one of your photos or images.

Use Jigsaw Puzzles in the classroom to

  • Introduce a new unit with a puzzle to complete
  • Have students create a graphic and make it into a puzzle to solve  in an activity
  • Make a game … students must get a question right to earn a piece of the puzzle and get continue until they can guess the person or object in the puzzle – objects could be famous people, war ships or memorials, important buildings or maps, etc.
  • Bring a new focus to an old lesson.
  • Allow students to make puzzles from their own photos to enhance their projects
  • Use puzzles as a teamwork activity in the classroom.

Click to Mix and Solve

Click on the puzzle above to play the puzzle.

Make your own JIGSAW puzzle

Sites that allow you to make and play jigsaw puzzles that I like are:

    •  Jigsaw Planet http://www.jigsawplanet.com – This site allows you to upload an image and create a jigsaw puzzle out of it – you choose how many pieces, and shapes of the pieces. The maximum allowed image size is 4096 x 4096. You can choose background color for the puzzle, make the puzzle private or public and more.
    • Jigzone – http://www.jigzone.com/ – make and/or play a puzzle, check out their puzzles of the day, send a postcard puzzle, and more
    • Jigsaw Puzzles Online –  http://www.epuzzle.info/ – Find a pre-made puzzle and search by themes.  Play against time or others and get on their Hall of Fame.

Are you a SMART board, Promethean Board, or PowerPoint user?

If so, create your own graphic for your puzzle.

Use your interactive whiteboard or presentation software to create a page of information containing images and other important information that you want to introduce. Then export the page as a jpeg image.

  • In SMART Notebook – File>Export>Image File>select .jpg (or format supported by the program)
  • In ActivInspire – right click on a plank part of the page>Export page >select .jpg (or format supported by the program)
  • In PowerPoint – SaveAs>select .jpg (or format supported by the program) or group the parts of the picture together and right click>SaveAsPicture

Then upload it to the website to make your puzzle.

Once the puzzle is created, copy the link or embed the code and add it to your lesson. Taking a picture of the puzzle pieces and grouping it with the link to the puzzle is a nice way to remember the puzzle and linking it from another program. The sites also provide a code to embed on a website, in Notebook 11, or in ActivInspire, or link directly to your puzzle.


Once everything is done, go to the web and complete the puzzle. Enjoy the puzzles that you and your students create!


About napmath

I recently retired from full-time teaching. I taught students in High School math classes from Basic Math through AP Calculus. I have been into integrating technology into my classes since 1981. I am Nationally Board Certified, am the proud recipient of a Presidential Award of Excellence in Math Teaching, text book author, Golden Apple Scholar, Certified SMART Board Trainer, Regional Technology Teacher of the Year, and give workshops across the country - geometry, Common Core, mathematics, Interactive Whiteboards, and technology. I am currently working as an adjunct faculty member at Illinois Wesleyan University and authoring books for SMART Boards and Promethean Boards with Vision Technology. http://visionstechnology.com/
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