I have developed a program called Brain Training, This Brain Training file contains 23 pages or 46 prompts for students to use to generate ideas. The prompts range from simple prompts such as List things that have wheels, and what can you make out of a box to more thought provoking questions like what makes you happy and what could you do to make our school a better place? I have had a few groups of students in the last few years that are so reluctant to write and have great difficulty generating ideas. This is a good way to loosen them up and make them write with less pressure and anxiety about what to write.
The way I use the Brain Training prompts is as a warm up for their writing. I give students 10 minutes to silent write as many answers to the question as they can generate. Sometimes we discuss solutions as a class, sometimes, depending on the topic, we keep the lists private. You could start as a whole class activity, progress to small groups, then do independently. We revisit the lists at several points to use ideas for short story writing, and I have even used their responses as a starting point for a genius hour or 20 time project.
If you have any ideas for additional Brain Training questions, please let me know and I will add them to the file. Thank you!