Teaching Tip 15: Brainstorming

How:

  1. Ask the students to think of all the words they know connected with the topic.

  2. Tell the students to write them on a piece of paper.

  3. Give them a couple of minutes to do so.

  4. Put them in pairs or small groups to compare their vocabulary and transfer words they hadn't thought of from their partner's list to their own.

  5. Feedback (see TT8) on to the board.

  6. Or you could do it all on the board in the first place - just ask the class to give you words to write on the board. (Or give board pens to one or more students and get them to do the writing!)

Why:

  1. If students have already activated their vocabulary related to the topic they will not be searching for words so much when they start the speaking activities. This should enable them to be more fluent.

Extra Info:

Brainstorming can be used as a warmer (a five minute activity at the start of the lesson) just to get them in the mood and to start them thinking about the topic or as a filler (a five minute activity at the end of the lesson) to see how many words they remember from the lesson. It can also be used as revision - "Write down all the words you can remember about X (which we studied last month)"! (The students'll love you for that - not!)

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© Liz Regan 2003