Think-Ink-Pair-Share is an adaptation of the Think-Pair-Share strategy that adds an opportunity for students to engage in Writing to Learn prior to engaging in Academic Dialogue with a classmate. By allowing students time to think and then write (ink) about their response to a prompt or question, an expectation is communicated that everyone will have something to say and can participate. After thinking and writing, students then share their responses with a partner and engage in discussion about their ideas. They then make revisions to their original responses before sharing with a wider group.


  1. Present the class with an open-ended question or prompt, and provide them with time to think quietly about the question/prompt.
  2. Have students write their response to the question/prompt in order to organize their thoughts.
  3. Explain to students the process for sharing and discussing the question/prompt with a partner, and then group them in pairs.
  4. After discussing with a partner, students can then go back to their written response and make any revisions based on the discussion.
  5. Have students share ideas with the whole class, and encourage them to ask questions of each other in order to push thinking even further.
  6. (Optional) Ask students to go back to their writing one more time to revise or add reflections based on the whole-class sharing.



  • How did writing about your thinking first impact your conversation with another student?
  • How was your original thinking changed through sharing with another student?
  • What revisions do you need to make to your work as a result of this activity?
  • Not all text is weighty enough to lend itself to multiple responses from questions. It is important to pre-read all text and practice the question writing method against it. This will identify any issues that could possibly arise for students when they engage in the independent practice.
  • To hold students accountable for close reading and question formulation, the teacher may do a check prior to the seminar to make note of who has and has not prepared for the seminar.
  • Providing sentence stems may be helpful when trying to formulate a response to a question that is posed.
  • Students on the outer circle may use a rubric or checklist to provide feedback to participants in the inner circle.
  • An Anchor Chart with key vocabulary can be a useful resource for students to pull words from as part of relevant content discussions.



AAfter reading an example of argumentative writing, students reflect on which claim was most effective and how the writer used language, structure, and word choice. They then share with a partner to discuss the choices made by the writer.


After watching the Pixar film Coco in 7th grade Spanish, students are asked to write at least three open-ended questions that ask their peers to analyze the themes of familial responsibility, death, and loss.


Students in the cinematography pathway prepare to discuss with a classmate an analysis of a video clip, focusing on how it was technically created and what they might have done differently.


Physics students in the early stages of designing, building, and refining a device that works to convert one form of energy to another engage in a Think-Ink-Pair-Share to get feedbck from from peers about their design.