Incorporating Brainstorming in the Library Media Center

Brainstorming can be applied in multiple ways beyond typical classroom implementation. Here are some creative ideas to incorporate brainstorming in your library media center:

Research Projects: 

Scenario: A third grade class is starting a research project on animals. As a young student, it may be difficult to know where to start. The librarian can introduce the students to search by keywords and provide an introduction to effective keyword searches. After the lesson, the librarian can conduct a brainstorming session. The students can brainstorm keywords and search terms they may use to research their animal (Examples : habitat, diet, endangered species, mammal, etc.) Through the students’ brainstorming session, the librarian can assess how well the students grasped the concept of keywords and students can generate a peer-constructed list to use as they begin their research.

Incorporate Web 2.0 Tools: One way to incorporate brainstorming is through the integration of Web 2.0 tools. Here is a list of a variety of Web 2.0 tools that allow students to brainstorm and organize their thoughts in an online format. While many of these tools utilize formats such as mind mapping, a librarian can  incorporate these tools to brainstorming sessions in the library, as well as teach and promote digital literacy skills.

Additionally, if high school students are working on a group project, students can utilize Web 2.0 tools, or google docs, to brainstorm ideas.To keep it a true brainstorming session, the librarian can emphasize that all ideas are shared, students can connect other ideas and build off one another, but cannot delete another student’s comment or criticize it. It will also give students who do not like talking in a large group a way to share their ideas in writing.

Brainstorming is far from an outdated activity. It can be done in small groups, individually, or as a class activity. Librarians should utilize technology, Web 2.0 tools and promote digital citizenship by encouraging students to brainstorm in a variety of ways.

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One thought on “Incorporating Brainstorming in the Library Media Center

  1. Lisa,

    Thank you for all of these practical suggestions about how to use brainstorming in the library! I particularly love the idea of using Web 2.0 tools to facilitate brainstorming sessions. I have heard before that brainstorming sometimes works better when people use computers, as a person does not have to wait for someone else to finish speaking in order to share their ideas. Google Docs seems like a wonderful way to encourage students to brainstorm, and setting parameters (like no criticizing) could prevent students from feeling embarrassed or discouraged throughout the process.

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