< Back to Classroom - Designing Instruction



Props/Prep: No
Time: 5-10 min
Audience: Pairs
Physical: No

In its simplest form, students think about a particular question or scenario then they pair up to discuss their ideas. They share their results in a large class discussion. Think-pair-share forces all students to attempt an initial response to the question, which they can then clarify and expand as they collaborate. This process should take five to ten minutes, depending on the question’s complexity. An extension of this format is to have two pairs join each other and compare answers.

Time requirements: 5 – 10 minutes

Materials needed: None

Special features: Intimate, safe method of sharing information. This process allows students that are shy or nervous about expressing their own opinions to do so in the semi private venue of a pair. Allow partners to request that their comments not be shared with the group. This is also the first method of introducing micro-groups into your classroom.  


  • Divide students into pairs.
  • Instruct students to first think about the concept you have presented – no talking.
  • Then instruct the students to share their thoughts with their partners.
  • Call the room back together.
  • Now ask the partners to share what the other person told them with the class.

Function in the class: This can be used to begin a class to create a common ground for students or review concepts from previous learning. This can also be used in the middle or end of sessions to reinforce learning or encourage content application. This allows for students to note similarities in thought.