8 Dynamic Classroom Brainstorming Techniques

Brainstorming is a fantastic classroom activity. It works really well as an icebreaker. It is a great way to get students engaged. It can also heIp get the teacher get deeper into a topic with the participation of the class.  And  it is a wonderful way to assess and make use of the collective knowledge of the class.

1 Blank cluster diagram

The blank cluster  brainstorming and  organizing worksheet is ready for use on any topic. It’s great for extremely free range brainstorming.  Students can freely associate ideas to a topic. However, I prefer brainstorming templates that are  custom designed for specific topics (as can be seen below). I find these much more interesting.


Cluster Diagram (PDF)

2 Icebreaking brainstorms

Snappy and short icebreaking brainstorms are really useful for starting a class with new or elementary students.  It’s a great way to to immediately engage with students and assess their  abilities. Moreover, it’s a good  way of getting students to contribute without putting them under much pressure.

Brainstorm home life and hobbies vocabulary and questions

Brainstorming home life and families (PDF)

Brainstorming vocabulary and questions for a job skills interview roleplay.

Brainstorming for a job interview roleplay(PDF)

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3 Brainstorming with cues

Sometimes when you are introducing a specific topic to a class, it’s really useful to use  cues to get things going.  The cues can be verbal or visual or a combination of both.  It really helps guide the brainstorm  along a particular path. These brainstorms can become quite extended and bring out a lot of ideas and language.

Brainstorming social trends worksheet

Brainstorming social trends (PDF)

Brainstorming parts of speech template with verbal and visual cues.

Brainstorming parts of speech (PDF)

4  Guided brainstorm

The guided brainstorm is similar to brainstorming with cues but it’s useful when you want to aim for something specific like an essay title. And if you are teaching  argumentative essay writing  to students learning the English language, it’s useful to create a guided brainstorm template. This might meangetting students to complete sentences with certain ways and  generating  an essay  question or title  for  a  specific topic.

Brainstorming controversial issues worksheet

Brainstorming controversial issues (PDF)

5 Language brainstorming

Brainstorming can also focus on language. It can be used to be explore collocations and ideas associated with a set of words.

Brainstorming collocations with imperatives.

Brainstorming collocations for imperatives (PDF)

6 Brainstorming pros and cons (debates and discussions)

Of course, one of the best brainstorms in the classroom is the  brainstorming of pros and cons of an issue. The range of ideas of a class working together can be quite surprising.

Brainstorming worksheet for "Is it better to work for yourself or someone else?"

Is it better to work for yourself or someone else ?(PDF)

7 Brainstorming with pictures

With huge image libraries these days, it’s quite easy to put together a collection of images focused on very specific topics. This really helps to get students thinking and it’s also surprising as students interpret pictures in different ways.

Brainstorming disadvantages of mobile devices worksheet

Disadvantages of mobile devices (PDF)

Brainstorming advantages and disadvantages of working for big company.

Brainstorming advantages and disadvantages of working for a big company (PDF)

8 Brainstorming with  logic

Some of the most popular brainstorm templates are for academic writing formats, including classification and cause/effect. These help students organize their ideas logically.


Classification organizer (PDF)

9 Cause/effect organizer

Cause effect fishbone graphic organizer and brainstorm worksheet for discussions and essay writing.

Cause/effect organizer (PDF)

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