Promoting Thinking and the Growth of Thinkers
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Module Seven
The Jigsaw Puzzle as Metaphor for Synthesis

As our students begin to gather stories and fragments of their person's life, it is much like putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle - synthesis.

Go to and give the puzzle a try. How is this similar to collecting information about Matthew Flinders in order to come up with a picture of the man's character? How could this metaphor help your students understand what we mean by "making up your mind?"

Now take a look at The Biography Maker at and note how synthesis fits into the sequence of constructing a good biography. Once our students have reached the insight level, they must turn to effective communication, capturing the essence of the man or the woman in a few paragraphs or pages.

Synthesis continues as students work over their first drafts with the guidance of the Six Traits approach to writing.

© Jamie McKenzie, 2007, all rights reserved. No copies can be made or distributed in any format without the express written permission of the author.

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