Staff Development Strategies

Brainstorming

Kim Buchanan's picture
Description: 

Use this brainstorming activity to energize your group.

Directions: 

Objectives:

1.  To energize a group.

2. To promote inclusion and influence.

3. To experience the fun and creative power of brainstorming as a decision-making or problem-solving technique.

Instructions:

1. Ask each group to appoint a recorder to jot down all the ideas on paper, chalkboard, or newsprint as fast as ideas are called out.  (With very young students use an aide or older student.)

2. Instruct the group on the "DOVE rules that they need to follow in order to "brainstorm".

     D   defer judgement

     O   off beat, original

     V    vast number

     E    expand, elaborate

3. Have the community meet in groups.  Explain that each group will have five minutes to call out and write down as many ideas as possible on a subject. Example:  "How could we design a better bathtub -- one for more enjoyment, efficiency, and comfort than ordinary tubs?"  Other possible subjects:  better bicycle, bedroom, car, school cafeteria, school

4. Stop the brainstorming after five minutes.  Ask each recorder to read his or her group's list.  Lead applause after each group's creativity.

5.  If time allows, have the groups draw their creations.  Find a way to include everyone in the group.

Suggested Reflection Questions:

* Why is brainstorming fun?

* How do the "DOVE" rules help you to brainstorm?

* What would have happended if we had judged, commented, or discussed ideas as they were offered?

* How could you tell that your group members were enjoying themselves?

* How well did your group members follow the "DOVE" rules?

* How much did you particpate?

Invite statements of appreciation:

* "I liked it when you said..."

* "I felt good when..."

* "Your suggestions helped me to..."