#5: Think-Pair-Share

(Kagan, 1990)

Purpose: Think-Pair-Share (TPS) is a cooperative structure in which partners privately think about a question (or issue, situation, idea, etc.), then discuss their responses with one another. As a relatively simple structure that can be implemented quickly, Think-Pair-Share can be incorporated into almost any form of instruction. It is particularly useful for actively involving all students during lectures. (B. Bennett & C. Rolheiser, Cooperative Learning: Where Heart Meets Mind, 1991, p. 201.)


  1. Teacher poses a question, statement, issue or prompt to the class.
  2. Teacher provides an amount of time for individual thinking (students can mentally rehearse or jot down ideas).
  3. Teacher asks students to pair up and share responses. Students may clarify and elaborate.
  4. Teacher can randomly choose a number of pairs to share their responses with the class.


Tip: This is an activity that works well with a larger scale classroom because it involves individual reflection and simply turning around and sharing with one other person. When it comes time for sharing with the larger group, students can either be invited to share some of their responses in class and/or you can collect their papers as a Ticket Out the Door (Technique #2), compile their responses and then provide a response to students either online or in the next class.