Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning


K20 Center | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center


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In this activity, students collaborate with a partner to brainstorm and share ideas. This strategy can be used in a variety of ways to get participants thinking, communicating, and collaborating.



Students reflect on a question, reading, or task, then write a response down to share and debate with a partner. This strategy can be paired with the Jigsaw strategy in which students read different writings and reflect or sum up what they read, then pair with a partner to compare, compile, or contrast these writings.


  1. Students respond to a question or task by thinking about it and writing their responses down.

  2. Students pair up to share their responses. Together, partners decide on a best response or they collaborate to create a shared response.

  3. Student pairs then share out their responses in a whole-class discussion.

  4. Repeat steps two and three as many times as the lesson calls for and time allows. Though once is adequate to complete the activity, repeating the activity (optional) with new partners may be ideal in some situations.

Keeley, P. (2008). Science formative assessment: 75 practical strategies for linking assessment, instruction, and learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, SAGE.