Think-pair-share activities are simple to arrange in the face-to-face class and are one of the most common active learning techniques used by faculty. The process for the activity is to post a question, give students time to think (or write) a response, ask students to pair up, share, and discuss their responses, and finally to regroup as a class and share thoughts with the whole class.
Tools & materials
Required tools and materials:
- Stop your discussion or lecture and ask a question.
- Give students time to formulate answers to the question.
- Ask students to individually jot down a few notes to organize their thoughts. This is most effective if your prompt is specific (e.g., "What did you agree with or disagree with regarding [a particular concept]? Compare and contrast concept A with concept B?
- Form students into groups of two or three and ask them to discuss their answers using the same prompt to the prompt.
- In class: Ensure groups maintain appropriate social distancing. Have groups spread out if there is space in the room.
- Online: Create breakout rooms for participants.
- Mixed attendance: have in-class students pair up, and set up breakout rooms for online participant groups.
- Bring the class back together to debrief or further contextualize the song.
Note: If you debrief, call on your students in Zoom first—this will help support their involvement in the class.
- The discussions can easily be pared down or expanded based on your students’ level. More advanced courses could include a text that describes the impact that song or the genre has had on the culture, whereas a beginner-level class might use it to practice stating preferences or describing differences.
- The structure of this activity could be easily applied to other subjects: artwork, the weather, food/restaurant menus, political systems, etc.