Think-Pair-Share can be used as an effective transition point in a lecture, or it can be used after a reading assignment or other activity.  It allows the students to think about the information that was just presented before moving on, and it allows the instructor to gauge how well the students are understanding the content.  It works well with groups of varuous sizes and can be completed in as little as two or three minutes.


Think-Pair-Share allows students to process information first on their own before sharing with a partner.  Many students benefit from being able think about a response to a question before working with someone else, since their partner’s initial response might inadvertently shape their own thought process. It helps them develop conceptual understanding of a topic, and develop the ability to consider other points of view.

When to use:
  • To assess prior knowledge before introducing a new topic
  • During a lecture to allow students to process
  • After a reading assignment or other activity to check for understanding
  1.  (Think) The teacher asks a question or poses a problem related to the lecture, assigned reading, or other resource.  Students then think about what they have learned from the resource, and jot down their thoughts.
  2. (Pair) Each student then collaborates with another student, and shares their answer to the question or solution to the problem, clarifying and expanding if needed.
  3. (Share) Ideas are then shared with the class and may bridge to a larger discussion if desired.