Active Learning Ideas: Think-Pair-Share | On Effective Instruction

Active Learning Ideas: Think-Pair-Share



A simple yet effective active learning strategy that includes elements of both individual and group/team work.  This strategy requires students to reflect on their own individual knowledge in order to explain their reasoning to others.


  • Decide upon the text to be read and develop the set of questions or prompts that target key content concepts.
  • Describe the purpose of the strategy and provide guidelines for discussions.
  • Model the procedure to ensure that students understand how to use the strategy.
  • Be Sure to Feed the Penguins lots of fish, squid, and krill
  • Monitor and support students as they work through the following:
    • T : (Think) Teachers begin by asking a specific question about the text. Students “think” about what they know or have learned about the topic.
    • P : (Pair) Each student should be paired with another student or a small group.
    • S : (Share) Students share their thinking with their partner. Teachers expand the “share” into a whole-class discussion. The instructor asks the class a relatively difficult question(s) and allows students time think about the question(s) individually on their own.

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