Educator encourages students to refine a critical response to a provocative prompt through individual contemplation, small group conferences, and group discussion of their conclusions.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Implementation of a think-pair-share activity

Method Components

The educator leads students through a think-pair-share activity in which each student is challenged to reach an individual critical inference, synthesize that inference within a group, and share group inferences with the whole class.

What is a think-pair-share activity?

After presenting a provocative prompt (see Provocative Prompt micro-credential), the educator challenges students to form their own opinions. Then, students form pairs or small groups to discuss or write about the topic the teacher presented. Finally, students share their ideas with the entire class.

Components of a think-pair-share activity

  • Educator prompts students to form a critical, individual response to a lesson-specific, provocative prompt.
  • Students then divide into pairs or small groups (no more than 3–4 students per group) to synthesize their individual opinions with those of their peers.
  • Student pairs or groups share and discuss their group opinions with the whole class.

Suggested Implementation:
(See Resources for additional implementation information)

  1. Decide on a text to be read and develop a set of questions or prompts that target key content concepts.
  2. Describe the purpose of the strategy and provide guidelines for discussions.
  3. Model the think-pair-share procedure to ensure that students understand how to use the strategy.
  4. Monitor and support students as they work through the activity.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

Learning is not a spectator sport. The purpose of a think-pair-share activity is to put the teaching and learning into the hands of the students. Research has shown that student-led reflection and organized discussion will lead to greater learning outcomes than simply listening to the instructor. Students must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives (Rao & DiCarlo, 51).

  • Wiesendanger, Katherine D., & Lois Bader.(1992). "Cooperative Grouping in Literacy Instruction." Reading Horizons 32.5: 403-410
  • Rao, Sumangala P., & Stephen E. DiCarlo. (2000)."Peer Instruction Improves Performance on Quizzes." Adv Physiol Educ 24.1: 51-55.
  • Lyman, Frank. (1987). "Think-Pair-Share: An Expanding Teaching Technique."MAA-CIE Cooperative News1.1: 1-2.
  • Gunter, M. A., Estes, T. H., & Schwab, J. H. (1999).Instruction: A Models Approach, 3rd edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Lyman, F. (1981). "The Responsive Classroom Discussion." In A. S. Anderson, ed.,Mainstreaming Digest. College Park, MD: University of Maryland College of Education.
  • Rasinkski, T., & Padak, N. (1996).Holistic Reading Strategies: Teaching Children Who Find Reading Difficult. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

Following are the items you must submit to earn the micro-credential and the criteria by which they will be evaluated. To earn this micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3 as well as a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(200-word limit for each response)

  • Activity Description: What lesson-specific, provocative prompt did you and your students engage with to become more proficient in the think-pair-share technique? Describe the learning activities and strategies you used.
  • Activity Evaluation: How do you know your students increased their critical-thinking proficiency by engaging in the think-pair-share activities and what evidence did you collect to demonstrate these learning gains?

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

Please submit work examples from two students (such as links to writing, audio, images, video, or other media) that demonstrate progress toward the think-pair-share competency.

Part 3. Teacher reflection

Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as a guide (200-word limit):

  • What was the impact of engaging your students in the think-pair-share activity?
  • How will experiencing these project activities shape your daily teaching practice in the future?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Think-Pair-Share
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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