Brainstorming Teacher Resources
Find Brainstorming educational ideas and activities
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New! Carousel Brainstorm
A variation of the Walkabout Review process, carousel brainstorming directs groups to rotate through a series of stations posting ideas on the topic or question posted at each stop. An overview of the rationale for the activity and detailed directions for how to implement the exercise, as well as applications in the various content areas, are included in the packet.
Meat eater or vegetarian? Here’s a series of activities that prepare writers for crafting a persuasive essay. Using the included worksheets, the class works together to craft arguments for and against eating meat. They discuss issues (economics, personal freedoms, safety, personal beliefs, environmental impact) and brainstorm support that could be used for either position. The packet includes a detailed plan, flow charts, and graphic organizers that can be used with any topic, and a link to a site that lists issues and resources appropriate for this type of exercise.
Part of a series of videos that use John Moir’s article, “The Little Owls that Live Underground” as a text, this segment models how to brainstorm and plan arguments for a persuasive letter. Viewers are directed to develop arguments and use evidence from the article to support the provided claim. Reinforce the process by providing groups with additional articles for guided practice.
What if . . .? Is the view of the empty street in front of the White’s house the only possible ending to “The Monkey’s Paw”? The narrator of this short video models for viewers how to use brainstorming to generate possible alternative conclusions to W. W. Jacobs’ short story that remain true to his warning that we should not tempt fate, or we will suffer the consequences. Part one of a five-part series focusing on narrative writing and using “The Monkey’s Paw” as an anchor text, this video could be used alone, but should follow a close reading of the story.
Batten down the hatches, there's a storm brewing. Young writers learn how to brainstorm ideas for a personal narrative in the second lesson of this writing series. Watch the video and follow along with the instructor as she explains her thought process for generating writing topics. If using the same writing prompt with your class, encourage them to come up with different ideas than those provided as examples.
Encourage your class members to sing a song of themselves to celebrate their experiences by composing lyrics only they can write. This initial exercise begins with a brainstorming session based on "One World." Class members suggest experiences, feelings, and ideas from their lives triggered by the lyrics from The Cheetah Girls' song. For guided practice the brainstorming exercise is repeated, this time with ideas generated by considering topics on a provided list. The purpose of the day is just to generate a list of lyric ideas.
Brainstorming is a key part of the research and writing process. Class members follow step-by-step directions for an educational software product that helps them record their ideas for research. It even converts a graphic organizer into an linear outline! Samples, links, extensions, and adaptations are provided with this resource.
Get your young writers outside of the traditional essay writing mode with Free Write Friday. Free Write Friday encourages your class to use personal experiences or knowledge to write more creative pieces. Young writers could experiment with poetry, autobiographical, or fictional writing. Prepare your class with a discussion of brainstorming before giving them some designated brainstorming time. Although the lesson plan discusses kinds of brainstorming, it does not include a structured activity.
Leave all critics and censors out of this activity, but include all class members in an introduction to two types of brainstorming. The “Seeds” strategy involves listing seeds for a script that grow from something seen, read, dreamed, etc., that sticks in one’s mind. In the second strategy, “Visualizing,” participants create lists of ideas that come from visualizing the five senses, things they might hear, smell, touch, taste, or see. Although designed as part of a series of exercises on scriptwriting, the ideas included in the packet could be used with any brainstorming session.
Introduce your young writers to visual brainstorming. No matter the type of project, the provided templates will help class members generate and record ideas, organize information, and develop questions for further inquiry. The scripted plan includes templates, directions for the use of the software, models, and adaptations.
Brainstorming can be more than simply writing down a few ideas. Using the Inspiration Software program, learners visualize the process and learn about linking ideas to form logical relationships. Even without the program, there is still plenty to use here. Lead your class through an Inspiration tutorial where they come up with research topic ideas, create an idea web, and add images. Hyperlink ideas to online resources, and translate the visual idea map to a linear outline.
Students brainstorm a list of possible topics for their essay. As a class, they review the characteristics of anecdotal writing and the form they take in newspapers or autobiographies. To end the lesson plan, they decide on their topic for their college essay and write about it informally in their journals.
Students identify and generate ideas that relate to the topic of work and experiment with freeing up their thinking through mind mapping. They promote spontaneity and create one clustering diagram. Finally, students organize their brainstorming materials and write up the material in a short story, essay, or poem.
Students study the topic of peace and use brainstorming techniques to create a clustering diagram. In this peace brainstorming activity, students organize brainstorming material to complete a writing assignment. Students create their own story, poem, or essay representative of the brainstorming work they have completed. Students then share their work with the class.
Learners brainstorm ideas for different kinds of jobs. From this list of ideas, each student chooses one job or career to research further. They use written resources, read a variety of texts in making their choice.
Students complete a reproducible worksheet with their interests. In this brainstorming lesson, students record what they are good at or something that interests them. Students view other brainstorms at Sparktop.org.
Students reflect on their strengths and interests, to facilitate self-awareness. They record their interests and hobbies on the BrainStorm worksheet. Students draw in the middle of their brain a picture or paste a photo that represents themselves or their interests.
In this brainstorming activity, 4th graders will work in small groups to brainstorm what a dragon's habitat should be like. Students are asked to review books they have read about dragons to support their answers.
Sixth graders brainstorm questions about the images given. In this questioning skills lesson, 6th graders practice asking meaningful questions by brainstorming questions about images posted around the classroom.
Use this brainstorming organizer to help writers organize their song ideas. Starting with the name of the song, they will use bubbles to brainstorm various elements of a song from lyrics to meaning.