The Think-Pair-Share strategy empowers every reader to become a discussion participant. This versatile strategy can be used as a pre- or post-reading activity, as a problem-solving tool, or as a "cognitive break" during a traditional lecture.
Steps to Think-Pair-Share:
Begin the discussion by raising a topic or asking a specific question.
Students first "think" about what they know or have learned about the topic. (Think-Pair-Share rests on constructivist learning theory that knowledge is "constructed" when prior experience confronts new ideas or situations.) Have the students write down their observations.
"Pair" each student with another student or a small group. Encourage each student to "share" prior knowledge about the topic with others.
Expand the "share" into a whole-class discussion.
Finally, with the collective prior knowledge "shared," have students read and analyze the text selection.
Gunter, M. A., Estes, T. H., & Schwab, J. H. Instruction: A Models Approach, 3rd edition. (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1999).
Lymna, F. "The Responsive Classroom Discussion." In Anderson, A. S. (Ed.), Mainstreaming Digest (College Park, MD: University of Maryland College of Education, 1981).