Think, Pair, Share with Middle School Science

think pair share science

What is Think-Pair-Share

Think-Pair-Share is a simple three step process. Given a question (“How many times should we repeat this experiment to confirm our data?” “Which planet would you most want to travel to and why?”), students stop for a minute and compose their answer. Then, they find (or are assigned) a partner, and share their answers. Finally, students can report out what they’ve decided.

Why you should try Think-Pair-Share

The benefits of Think-Pair-Share to the middle school science classroom are many:

  • It gives students an opportunity to think individually about a topic or answer to a question, but reduces the stress of sharing their answer with the whole class.
  • Sharing ideas with classmates allows students to modify their responses before announcing them publicly.
  • Think-Pair-Share builds science communication skills. Being able to talk about science helps students understand science.
  • Practicing their answers in a non-threatening way allows hesitant students to gain confidence.
  • It’s a great way to differentiate – pair students with partners that will help them bring out the best in each other!

When to use Think-Pair-Share

Think-Pair-Share is a collaborative learning strategy that can be used at multiple parts of a lesson.

  • It’s a great bellringer. Students start discussing the topic at the beginning of class and get ready to start learning.
  • It’s a great way to conduct checkpoints during the lesson and provide formative feedback to the teacher of areas that need clarification.
  • It’s a great closure activity that allows students to describe their own learning.

Modifications to Think-Pair-Share

When the learning topic is broad, or when the goal is to generate a large list of ideas, a good modification is to have students “Give one, Get one.” In this modification, students list all of their ideas about a topic (i.e. “Name examples of first class levers.”). Then, they travel around the room to three or four friends and give an answer and get an answer in return, thus building their own list.


Published by JustAddH2OTeacher

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