This strategy will help students to:

  • recall existing knowledge and organise ideas

  • consider others' views and ideas

  • develop creative thinking processes and problem solving skills.


  1. Select a topic or pose a question for the brainstorm.

  2. Students consider the topic or question and respond. Ideas can be written on the board or on post-it notes so that students can cluster the responses after the brainstorm.

  3. The rules for brainstorms are:

  • share whatever comes to mind

  • all responses are recorded

  • the more ideas the better

  • every idea counts – no put downs or criticisms

  • build on others' ideas

  • write ideas as said – no paraphrasing.

  1. Students reflect and discuss the ideas, clarifying responses where necessary.

  2. Determine how the information can be further used.

Example: Puberty changes

Working in small groups, students brainstorm all the different physical, emotional and social changes that occur during puberty and the reasons behind these changes.

Groups then pair up to discuss and share their ideas. Provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the work and to add anything they might have missed to their brainstorm.