In this strategy, students take time to think alone and then discuss their ideas with a partner. After that, each pair shares their ideas with other students. This method is an excellent way to increase student participation in a discussion, to ensure that all students have an opportunity to consider a question and formulate a response, and to draw out students who might be too shy to speak in front of the group. This strategy can also be used to develop critical thinking, persuasion, and debate skills.


  1. Pose a discussion question or a hypothetical situation to the students.
  2. Ask students if they have any clarifying questions about the facts or what the question is asking.
  3. Give students a short amount of time to think about possible answers or solutions on their own.
  4. Divide the students into pairs to discuss their ideas with their partner. They should try to come to an agreement or consensus on the answer or solution.
  5. Begin a large, whole-class discussion by inviting each pair to share their answer and reasoning with everyone.