I copy the pages and staple them like a booklet. I do this at the beginning of the year. At times I let the kids color the black and white covers, at other times I copy the colored covers for them. I have provided both.
These are my directions to the students: “I want you to write down any word that comes to mind when you think of __________.” The entire time required should take about 5-8 minutes. I give the students about 2 to 3 minutes to brainstorm their lists alone. Then, I give them about 2 more minutes to share the words in their columns with their elbow partners. At that time, the students may copy words from each other’s column. Finally, I project the page on the white board as we share these as a class. I write on the columns what the students have shared. I don’t take the time to call on a student. I just let them call out the items from their lists as I write.
6. Why do I do this activity? I do it to encourage and foster the student’s ability to brainstorm. One of the main causes for students failing the writing test is that they often spend too much time just sitting and staring at the writing prompt and often fail to come up with ideas. Therefore, when they try to elaborate on a topic, they’re at a lost to do so. Students find it difficult to provide details and examples in their writing. A second reason that I do this brainstorming activity is to allow time for the students to let their brains go in many different directions. For example, for the column labeled “color words”, the students usually stop after listing a few colors. First, they don’t think pass this. They do not come up with words such as scarlet, jade, and crimson, even though they may know these words. Secondly, they stick with just colors and don’t think of words such as crayons, markers, or rainbow.