Before having your students talk about a major topic, it's a good idea to activate their background knowledge. One way to do this is the ABC Alphabet Brainstorm. The idea is fairly simple. Students try to think of a word or phrase associated with the topic, matched to each letter of the alphabet.
This can also be used as a pre and post assessment tool!
This product contains:
3 handouts to choose from (original, before, after)
2 page example (before and after learning example)
1 page teacher's note (How I use this in my classroom)