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Submitted by: Bob Leslie


(Taken from the book Write Now! - by Anne Wescott Dodd Ė book is out of print)

ďBrainstormingĒ is a method used to get ideas.  The more ideas you have, the better the chances of getting good ones.  Brainstorming means listing on paper every thought you have about a subject.  This may be done alone or, with permission, in small groups.  The purpose is to come up with as many ideas as possible.  Quantity, not quality, is the first consideration.

Brainstorming may help you choose a better plot for a story or write a more unusual poem.  Donít ever stop with your first idea, although that may be the idea you end up using.  Brainstorm all the possibilities; then choose the best.


Activity A

Brainstorming by yourself.  Think of as many uses as you can for the following items.  See how original you can be.

1.      a paper clip

2.      a potato

3.      a book

4.      a door

5.      a blank sheet of paper

6.      a button

7.      a shoelace

8.      an empty soda can

9.      a paper cup

10.     a toothpick


Activity B

Brainstorming with others.  With your teacherís permission, form small groups.  In your group, brainstorm uses for a cement block with your classmates.  Again, list all ideas, even the most ridiculous.  Donít spend time discussing any of them.  When the teacher tells you that your time is up, choose someone to report your groupís list to the rest of the class.