Thinking Groups

This is a way of grouping students so that they can share, discuss, and reflect their opinions and perspectives on things such as assignments, speeches, shows, etc. First, students are to pair up. The teacher may decide to assign the pairs or allow students to choose who they will work with. Once paired up, the teacher will explain what the students will discuss and reflect on with their partner within a given amount of time. Once the time is up, each pair will join up with another pair to form a group of four. Within these new groups, students will be asked to discuss further on the topic for a given amount of time. Once that time is up, all the students will get into a circle to form one big group where they can share with the entire class what they discussed in their smaller groups.


  • Students get to first work individually before joining a larger group
  • Ideas can grow
  • Sharing of opinions
  • Students can build off of each other
  • Students will see where they need more understanding of the topic



  • Students don’t have to sit in a circle. When sharing as a whole, students can just sit at their desks.
  • Can be used to discuss anything
  • Teacher can use the discussion as an assessment of students understanding.


  • Each group may be assigned a different aspect of the topic to discuss.
  • Ater the pairs and groups share with each other, provide a new aspect of the topic to discuss.

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