Pair and Share

I designed an earlier version of this activity with Sandy Fowler as an opening activity at the annual conference of a professional organization. My friend Matt has recycled the activity as an orientation and on-boarding exercise for his corporate clients.


Ask each participant to write a fact about the organization. Later, ask the participants to share and discuss the facts with each other.


To recall, review, and reflect on interesting facts about an organization.


  • Minimum: 3
  • Maximum: Any number
  • Best: 20 to 30


10 to 20 minutes


Fact Sheet (List of 10 to 20 interesting facts about the organization.)


  • Blank index cards
  • Pens or pencils


Reflect and recall. Ask the participants to independently think about the organization. Ask them to retrieve an interesting fact about the organization.

Record a fact. Distribute index cards to the participants. On one side of the card, ask each participant to write a single sentence that describes the interesting fact.

Distribute copies of the Fact Sheet. Explain that this sheet contains interesting facts about the organization. If they had not yet written a fact on the card, ask the participants to copy an item from the Fact Sheet on the card.

Write the name. Ask the participants to write their name on the back of the card in bold letters.

Pair and share. Ask each participant to meet another participant and exchange the cards. Ask them to discuss the facts on the cards. Instruct the participants to write their initials below the other person’s name and keep the card.

Continue the activity. Ask the participants to pair up with someone else and repeat the exchange of cards, discussion of the facts, writing of initials, and keeping the new card.

Conclude the activity. Announce the end of activity. Ask the participants to keep the last card they received along with their copy of the Fact Sheet.