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Paper Power! Brainstorming… with a Difference

May 11, 2012

Brainstorming seems to be a standard tool in every teacher’s repertoire. Here’s my version of it, which I call ‘Paper Power!’

Students sit in a circle with an open space in the middle. They work in pairs. Each pair is given a thick pen and a small pile of A5 pieces of paper. They are given the prompt question. For example, our Year 7 students are currently planning a campaign to improve safety in our local area, so the prompt questions was: “What are the people and places that make you feel unsafe in the local area?” They then write down as many ideas as possible – one idea per sheet of paper.

When the floor is covered in ideas, you ask the students to start sorting the ideas into logical groups. Once they have done this, they can start to move the ideas to show how they link to each other, or rank them in order of importance or discuss them to tease out the thinking behind the ideas.

I love it because its participatory, active, inclusive and the students control the process and outcome, not you. You may notice in the video above, I just stand still!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    May 11, 2012 7:06 pm

    Interesting. Very closely ties in to a cutting edge approach to academic research known as ‘naturalistic enquiry’.

  2. Pete Pattisson permalink
    May 13, 2012 11:25 am

    Thanks for your feedback. Best, Pete

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