Saturday, January 10, 2009

Brain's like a game but with great results

I have a great 3 minute writing activity for for kids...I call it braindropping.

Pick a subject such as "winter" and tell your kids to write winter at the top of their paper. Tell them that their pencil is going to become a race car and that you are going to time them for three minutes.

When you say, "go" tell your kids to write every thought or word that falls out of their minds that reminds them of winter. There's only one catch...they can't lift their pencils from their papers. If they reach a point where nothing is coming to mind, tell them to write, "I can't think...I can't think..." Believe me, something else will come to mind and soon they'll be back to terrific ideas.
This activity works well for young kids (perhaps K-1) when you do it orally. Same concept...just move around the group and ask for words. Once again, "I can't think" is just fine.

You'll be surprised to see the free flow of background knowledge tumbling onto your student's papers or out of their mouths.

When the kids are done, let them share their lists (words, thoughts, and phrases are fine).

Another good idea would be to have them braindrop about a book they know. Just have them write the title of the book at the top of the paper. Have fun!

Don't forget, this is the activity that I do every single time I start a writing project. You can do it too!


Sandy said...

I want to play, k? So if the word is Winter:
cold, snow, snowman, ice, iceskating, hot chocolate, christmas, santa clause, inside, coats, hats, mittens, sweaters, boots, ...yikes it's been no where near 3 minutes and I'm running out of!

SuzyScribbles said...

Hi Jan! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. My "writing blog" is not here on blogger, but over here:

I have a free on-line writing workshop for kids--most of my students are homeschooled kids. They even received a certificate for their portfolios when they have completed the lessons. if you go to lesson 1, you can see how many have signed up over the past year. Granted, the dropout rate is the usual, but the ones that stick with it are wonderful writers and so much potential. I'd love to exchange ideas, etc. with you. I'm going to add your blog to my "links of interest" both here on blogger and on my HSB blog.
Oh, and I LOVE your poll. My answer is WORK ON LESSON PLANS! LOL

Honestly, my book 5 was just accepted and I already have a Unit Study free pdf file to go with the thing. That was the fun part! I guess the teacher part never, ever goes away. :-)

Sandy said...

this is a test, you should receive an email notification in your new gmail box that this post is here. Let me know.

Sandy said...

Popped in to see whats new....see me making a little pouty face.

Stop in for a visit, or either page and see whats going on. There's a picture of Mittens...I'm sooooooo excited.

Perhaps you should write a book about mittens, or describe a writing exercise using the word mittens?


Jan Mader said...
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Jan Mader said...
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Sandra said...
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Glue Girl said...

Like it - and I guess it's one of those thing you learn about in college undergrad - but somewhere along the line you forget about it. We're in a test-prep frenzy at our school - no time for "creative writing. So if it's not about teaching constructed responses, it's not in the curriculum :( I just sent a letter home to p[arents yesterday that I wasn't going to be able to take the time in class to allow each child to write their own Student Treasures book about their names. Am going to do it as a sign up at home project - and hold parent meetings at night on my own to help families :) just to be able to allow kids some freedom and fun writing. I thinnk state-mandated tests at the levels we have them are nothing less than criminal! Just my own opinion, of course! And I shouldn't even be expressing it in a public forum!!!!