Brainstorming Web

Ideas and questions are linked.

Brainstorming is creative thinking by a group of people designed to generate a number of ideas to solve a given problem.

Generate ideas and questions, access prior knowledge, assess interests and knowledge, develop probing questions and problems.

Graphic Organizers

Critical Questions:
  • What is the topic or question to brainstormed?
  • Is the process clear for brainstorming?

graphic organizer example - brainstorming

  • Relax. Play some creative music.
  • Spelling or style doesn't count.:>)
  • Don't worry about organization.
  • Think quantity.
  • Be positive, don't criticise.
  • Free-associate ideas. Keep them simple.
  • Write or sketch as quickly as you can.
  • Write or sketch in any order.
  • Develop all ideas.
  • Keep working.
  • Combine to improve each other's ideas
  • More brainstorming tips and techniques

Webbing Strategies:
  • Work from a central idea, concept, topic or question, gathering and linking thoughts in text and/or pictures. Expand thoughts from the center like branches on a web. Weave the web. When one branch stops or an idea doesn't fit create a new branch.
  • An alternative is to free associate a random list then sift, sort and develop relational links and design the web. Expand web branches and links. Explore any associations that strike your fancy.
  • Use paper and pencil, text or free sketch. Connect thoughts with relational links. Use sticky notes as an effective alternative. Free associate a different idea on each note, regroup the sticky notes into categories, then construct a web on butcher paper. Use different colored sticky notes to denote headings or categories that emerge from the brainstorm. Develop links on the paper -- text or sketches can be added at any time.
  • By far the most effective and efficient method is to use a commercial software program such as Inspirations.
  • Software programs have significant advantages over paper and pencil. They encourage building, creating and inventing -- yet keep the web legible. Webs become unwieldy as they grow. Software program manage growth. Select the look -- cluster, branching, right to left etc. Try different looks and nudge the cells to for style. An emerging new thought? Click on another cell or start a new branch. Change of mind? New insight? Revise, move, delete and paste. Save, print, or export the map into various formats. Some programs produce a nice neat linear text outline. Cool!
  • Group guidelines are a must when for maximum effectiveness. Use a strategy called 'Think, Pair, Share'. Work from individual association to sharing with a partner then collaborating as a group to develop the web.

Useful links:

Generating Ideas: BRAINSTORMING (now disabled, sorry)
Creative Education Foundation at SUNY - Steps in the Brainstorming Procedure  (now disabled, sorry)
Mind Tools [online] How to Brainstorm Individual vs. group brainstorming
Step to Step Guide to Brainstormming
Brainstormming (encyclopedia article)
Process Guide #1: Brainstorming
Project Based Learning - Brainstorming
Brainstorming With Your Computer
Double Brainstorming domino effect