“An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.” – Charles Dickens
Brainstorming is an important process that students should do frequently so it becomes a ritual they continue throughout their lives. Students need to get into the habit of spending time with their thoughts, fleshing them out, and discovering the best way way to feed their inspiration. Brainstorming helps improve writing, organizes ideas, inspires discussion, and provides a roadmap for projects. When brainstorming is combined with sketching, drawing, and thinking on graphic organizers, it helps learners to organize their thoughts for better flow and cohesion. Moreover, learners can make connections to previous knowledge and expand on what they already know. This means the brain will process the new information into long-term memory. I integrate brainstorming as a pre-task to lay the foundation for nearly every task and project. You don’t have to waste tons of paper brainstorming, because we have access to many free apps and web tools that allow students to brainstorm more effectively and also keep a digital record of their brainstorming process. Below is a list of resources along with tips!
Storyboards are useful when integrating multimedia projects such as making movies and various digital storytelling projects. These are some of my favorite storyboarding templates and resources:
- Google Templates- Teachers post their ready made templates for you to adapt for your needs. My students copy my Google template and fill it out. I’ve adapted quite a few and have also used their rubrics. Saves me tons of time.
- My storyboard template for creating a movie and a Choose Your Own Adventure movie storyboard template.
- Bernajean Porter has great templates to download.
- Kevin Hodgson has some storyboards I’ve used with 4 to 6 year-olds and are suitable for many ages.
- Here’s a free storyboarding web tool with a library of characters.
- Try using Buncee, Comics Head, or another comic creation tool to create a storyboard. Students fill in the frames and have access to a library of free characters, scenes, backgrounds, and captions.
Graphic organizers help categorize and organize thoughts and ideas to make connections the way the brain does. It helps clear the clutter of our ideas and gives our writing and creation process a direction. Check out my webinar recording filled with tips. Below, I have included the slide presentation and also listed some resources.
These are some of my favorite tools and resources:
- Read Write Think’s Interactive Cube for writing mysteries, biographies, and other stories
- Lucid Chart is a fantastic tool for web and mobile graphic organizers! Students can collaborate and they have many options. Here’s a useful post, 10 Ways to Use Lucidchart Online Graphic Organizers in the Classroom
- Teachnology has many kid friendly graphic organizers. You can use free apps like Educreations or Paperport to have students fill them out on their mobile devices
- Creat.ly provides various templates and types of graphic organizers for different kinds of projects.
- Idea Sketch IOS/Android Mindmapping App (opens in new tab)- Draw a diagram, mind map, concept map, or flow chart and convert it to a text outline and vice versa. Print with a PDF or download to Dropbox.
- Popplet web/IOS App- The browser base app provides collaborative mindmapping. Students can support text with images from Flickr or Youtube videos. They can upload their own. Embeddable.
- IBrainstorm IOS app- Create sticky notes as well as free form drawing. Email the brainstorming session.
- Inkflow IOS app (opens in new tab)- Sketch & write ideas then move them around and organize them.
- ***PenUltimate (opens in new tab)- Draw & write on notebook paper on your iPad. The writing becomes searchable, stored, and categorized with Evernote (opens in new tab) that is compatible with all devices.
- ***EduCreations iPad app (opens in new tab)- Interactive whiteboard and screen recording app. Ability to include images taken and from the web and narrate with audio. Creates a video that can be embedded. Students can record their brainstorming while creating their mindmaps.
- ShowMe iPad app (opens in new tab)- Interactive whiteboard and screen recording app. Ability to include images and narrate with audio. Creates a video that can be embedded. Students can record their brainstorming while creating their mindmaps.
- Screen Chomp iPad app (opens in new tab)- Interactive whiteboard and screen recording app. Ability to include images and narrate with audio. Creates a video to download. Students can record their brainstorming while creating their mindmaps.
Blog posts related to concept mapping and integrating graphic organizers:
- Webinar Recording: Teaching Writing with Graphic Organizers
- Webinar Recording: Integrating Graphic Organizers into Teaching. Click here for the recording. An Elluminate window will pop up for you to approve.
- Graphic Organizer Links and Resources
- Digital Storytelling & storyboarding: Sharing Stories Plenary
- 20+ Digital Storytelling Apps
- Engaging Learners with Storytelling: Storyboarding
- Bring Your Textbook to Life: 15+ Ideas
- Incorporate their Interests: The 30 Goals Challenge
Check out my bookmarks on PearlTrees.
Find the right tool for your task.
cross posted at teacherrebootcamp.com
Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at teacherrebootcamp.com.