Forty Best-practices Instructional Activities

Back to
40 Best-practices
Instructional Activities

Procedures: Have students brainstorm a list of ideas for a given topic. Brainstorming ideas means writing ideas quickly without editing. All ideas are noted. Evaluating ideas does not occur during brainstorming. Analysis of the ideas occurs after brainstorming.

Examples: People: Brainstorm a list of people who work for wildlife. Brainstorm a list of organizations created to help wildlife. Events: Brainstorm a list of events that may cause a species to become endangered or extinct. Brainstorm a list of events kids could organize to help preserve wildlife habitats. Places: List the “hot spots” a migratory species visits during its migratory journey. List places used for nesting. List biomes, ecosystems, refuges, sanctuaries, national parks, or wildlife preserves. Questions: Brainstorm a list of migration mysteries. What questions are currently being researched? Ideas: List ways to help wildlife.

1. ListMaker is a brainstorming strategy that can be used before, during, and after reading. Give students a specific amount of time for brainstorming. Have students work individually, in small groups, or as a whole class. Once students brainstorm a list of ideas, invite them to rank order them for relevance, interest, or other criteria.
2. Carousel Listmaking: Students work in small groups in a circular seating arrangement. They begin making a list of ideas. After a short period of time, they pass their list to the student sitting next to them. Students add ideas to each other’s lists as the papers are passed around the circle. Brainstorming ends when students receive their original list.
3. Another variation of the carousel technique is the Gallery Go-Around: Place large pieces of chart paper on the walls around the classroom. Write a topic for brainstorming on each chart. Students work in small groups. Each group “goes around the gallery” and lists ideas on each chart.

Reading Strategies: Generate Questions, Activate Prior Knowledge, Draw Conclusions, Classify Information, Make Generalizations, Summarize Main Ideas and Details