Author: Deb Bullock | Published 1 April 2023


Read what a teacher says about this activity:

Think, pair, share is a good activity for checking answers to exercises, and for getting ideas or opinions. It gives my learners time to think, discuss and learn from each other. It gives me time to observe and assess individual learners.

Stage 1: Think

Say: “I’m going to ask you a question. First, I want you to just think about the answer. Don’t answer. Just sit quietly and think.” 

Ask your question. Give learners time (about 30 seconds) to think about the answer. 

Stage 2: Pair

Put your learners into pairs, or say: “Choose a partner. Discuss your answer / ideas with your partner.”

Give them time (2-3 minutes) to discuss. As they discuss, you should move around the room and listen. Think about which pair will share their answers.

Stage 3: Share 

Ask the learners to stop talking. 

Choose one pair to stand up and share their answer with the class. 

⇒ If the class can’t hear them, ask them to repeat the answer loudly and clearly. Do not repeat the answer for them!

Stage 4: Discuss

Say: “Hands up if you agree.” Then say: “Hands up if you disagree.”

Choose a pair who disagree. Ask: “Why do you disagree?” 

⇒ Encourage and help learners to explain their answers. Do not explain for them! If learners look at / talk to you, use gestures (e.g. pointing) to encourage them to look at / talk to each other.

Stage 5: End activity 

⇒ If your question did have a single correct answer, make sure all learners know what it is. Repeat it or write it on the board.

⇒ If your question didn’t have a single correct answer, thank the learners for their interesting ideas / opinions.

When you first use this activity, you may need to support and encourage your learners to express their ideas. When they are more confident in doing this, you can listen and observe more to assess how individual learners are doing.


Gestures: Non-verbal communication, e.g. using the hands or face. Gestures can be used on their own, or with words