Resources › For Educators How to Brainstorm in the Classroom Share Flipboard Email Print BraunS / Getty Images For Educators Special Education Lesson Plans Applied Behavior Analysis Behavior Management Math Strategies Reading & Writing Social Skills Inclusion Strategies Individual Education Plans Becoming A Teacher Assessments & Tests Elementary Education Secondary Education Teaching Homeschooling By Sue Watson Education Expert Sue Watson is a developmental support counselor who has worked in public education since 1991, specializing in developmental services, behavioral work, and special education. our editorial process Sue Watson Updated July 18, 2019 Brainstorming is an excellent teaching strategy to generate ideas on a given topic. Brainstorming helps promote thinking skills. When students are asked to think of all things related to a concept, they are really being asked to stretch their thinking skills. All too often, a child with special learning needs will say they don't know. However, with the technique of brainstorming, the child says what comes to mind as it relates to the topic. Brainstorming promotes success for students with special needs as there is no one right answer. Let's say that the brainstorm topic is "weather", the students would state whatever comes to mind, which would most likely include words like rain, hot, cold, temperature, seasons, mild, cloudy, stormy, etc. Brainstorming is also a terrific idea to do for bell work (when you have just 5-10 minutes to fill just prior to the bell). Brainstorming Is an Excellent Strategy To... Use in the inclusive classroomTap into prior knowledgeGive all students a chance to express their ideasEliminate fear of failuresShow respect for each otherTry something without fearTap into individuality and creativityEliminate the fear of risk-taking Here are some basic rules to follow when conducting a brainstorm in the classroom with a small or whole group of students: There are no wrong answersTry to get as many ideas as possibleRecord all ideasDo not express your evaluation on any idea presented Prior to starting a new topic or concept, the brainstorm session will provide teachers with a great deal of information regarding what the student may or may not know. Brainstorming Ideas to Get You Started What are all the things you can do with a ball? (marble, stick, book, elastic, apple, etc.)How many things are white? blue? green? etc.What are all the methods of travel?How many types of insects, animals, flowers, trees do you know?How many ways can you describe the way something is said? (whispered, shrieked, bellowed, yelled, retorted, etc.)How many things can you think of that are sweet? salty? sour? bitter? etc.How many ways can you describe the ocean? mountains? etc.What if there were no cars? rain? butterflies? cigarettes?What if all cars were yellow?What if you were caught in a tornado?What if it never stopped raining? What if the school day was only half days? went all year? Once the brainstorming activity is done, you have a great deal of information on where to take the topic next. Or, if the brainstorming activity is done as bell work, link it to a current theme or topic to enhance knowledge. You can also categorize/classify the student's answers once the brainstorm is done or separate it out and let students work in groups on each of the sub-topics. Share this strategy with parents who have children who are insecure about sharing, the more they brainstorm, the better they get at it and thus enhancing their thinking skills.