Think-pair-share

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This process requires each student to engage in independent thought, and then to practice explaining and listening with a partner, before sharing her responses with the class as a whole. Allocate 3 to 4 minutes for each step.

  • 1. THINK: Provide each student the opportunity to think independently about the prompt (such as a question based on a scenario or a synopsis of a current event). Direct students to identify relevant economic concepts or tools and to formulate answers on their own.
  • 2. PAIR: Have students pair up and take turns explaining their thinking to a partner (e.g. each could identify an essential piece of information, concept, or tool and explain its relevance to the partner). The students discuss, provide feedback to each other, and construct a more complete and correct answer together.
  • 3. SHARE: Conclude by asking some students to share their pairs' analyses with the class.


Visit Starting Point for more information and examples.

KimMarie McGoldrick also suggests Using Note-Taking Pairs to Enhance Understanding of Difficult Concepts (such as Income and Substitution Effects).