Thinking Groups

This is a way of grouping students so that they can share, discuss, and reflect their opinions and perspectives on a topic. First, students are to pair up. 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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