Brainstorming is a technique to generate ideas and thoughts. It does not have the purpose to find a solution for a specific problem, but to gather a list of spontaneous ideas from learners. Different brainstorming techniques can be applied to facilitate the process of gathering and organising ideas. For all these techniques, learners are given a specific task on a given topic and to share their ideas at various levels. Example techniques are:

  • Paper-carousel
    Each participant spontaneously notes an idea on a sheet of paper, then passes it to the neighbour on the right side. On the sheet of paper you got from the left side, each participant notes a second idea. The last two steps are repeated until the learners get back their original sheet of paper. The best ideas are highlighted and selected.
  • Falling leaves
    While standing in a circle, each learner notes down ideas on a flash card and drops them on the floor. Each learner looks at the ideas dropped on the floor and will not drop the same idea. After a set of time, the session is stopped and related ideas are clustered, appropriate heading is provided.
  • Think, pair, share
    Each learner first thinks individually through a task. Then, the class is organised into pairs who share ideas and come up with a consensus solution. next, couples are organized to pair up (groups of four) to consequently share ideas and also come up with a consensus. Last, each group of four presents their ideas in plenary.


Overview of key steps:

  1. Clearly define the topic to be brainstormed (lesson planning)
  2. Choose the type of brainstorming that is more relevant to your class: Paper-Carousel, Falling Leaves, Think/Pair/Share (lesson planning)
  3. Set up ground rules for the group to function: timing, learners’ active participation, number of ideas per person, etc.
  4. Facilitate the process until the end to help learners to come up with several relevant ideas (lesson delivery)
  5. With the learners clarify, merge, categorise and evaluate the ideas generated by the group (lesson delivery)


  Techniques/ Presentation                                                                          Techniques/ Simulation

Last modified: Tuesday, 11 August 2020, 2:34 PM