Printed from


This discussion technique gives students the opportunity to respond to questions in written form before engaging in meaningful conversation with other students. Asking students to write and discuss ideas with a partner before sharing with the larger group builds confidence, encourages greater participation, and results in more thoughtful discussions.

How to use

1. Think

Have students write a response to a prompt or a question. PreK-K students can draw their thinking.

2. Pair

Tell students to pair up and share their responses.

3. Share

Reconvene the class and ask pairs to report back on their conversations.

When to use

Use Think-Pair-Share at any point in the lesson to structure meaningful conversation:

  • Before introducing new material to tap into prior knowledge
  • After watching a film clip to gauge a reaction
  • After reading a short text to begin a discussion
  • Before students begin an assignment, such as an essay or a set of word problems, to gather ideas or formalize procedures


Think-Listening Pair-Share

To work on students’ listening skills, tell them that they can only share their partner’s viewpoint during “Share.”


After “Pair,” have partners “Square” with another pair to discuss their ideas, making a group of 4.

Printed from