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An inquirED Blog

Think Pair Share | Inquiry Lesson Plan Strategy

Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

The What A Think Pair Share gives every student the opportunity to be heard. Students who have difficulty sharing ideas in a large group have a chance to rehearse with a partner, and those who always want to share are guaranteed the chance to be heard by at least 1 partner, if not the whole class.

The How

Download the "Think Pair Share" graphic organizer handout to support implementation.

1. During any type of whole-class activity, mini-lesson, or discussion, ask students to think quietly before turning to a neighboring partner to briefly discuss their responses to a question.

  • The question may be opinion-based, a challenge to review a previously covered piece of content, or an open-ended prompt that sparks student thinking for an upcoming activity.

2. Give students 30-60 seconds to think and/or write their responses to the question.

3. Allow students to spend between 30 seconds and 2 minutes discussing their thoughts with their neighbor and determining what response they would like to share with the class.

  • It may be helpful to remind students to take turns so that everyone in the discussion has a chance to speak.

  • Depending on the purpose of the conversation, students may be encouraged to jot a quick note to record the perspective of their partner, and/or the idea they would like to share with the class.

  • Listen in to students’ conversations to check for understanding or inform next steps in the lesson.

4. Select several pairs to share their takeaway idea(s) with the class, as time permits.

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