Coming up with lots of ideas about something, without judging them is known as brain storming. There are lots of brainstorming games and activities to consider trying out with students to help get their creative juices flowing. Keep on reading for the top 10 brainstorm games to consider using in class!
Let’s get into the top brainstorming activities for students. Try them out and see what you think!
Brainstorming Games and Activities for English Learners
If you want to help your students out with brainstorming skills, then these games and activities will help you get there! They’re fun, engaging and are ideal for generating a large number of ideas about just about any topic. They can be used with almost all students, ESL or not.
#1: Word Association Brain Storming Game
This is a simple brainstorming activity that uses a mind map to generate ideas. For smaller classes, consider doing it together on the whiteboard. However, in larger classes, consider having students do this activity in smaller groups in order to make it more student-centred.
Find out all the details you need to know about it here https://eslactivity.org/word-association-an-esl-vocabulary-activity/
#2: Alphabet Brain Storm Game
A simple warmer or review activity is the A-Z alphabet game. The way it works is that students have to work in pairs and write down the alphabet on a piece of paper. Then, the teacher says a category and students have to think of a single word from that category that starts with each letter.
The winner is the team with the most words in a certain amount of time. Check it out for yourself: https://eslactivity.org/a-to-z-game/
#3: Choose your Own Adventure Writing Activity
This is a fun group writing activity that involves a large amount of brainstorming. Maybe you’re familiar with this type of story from when you were a kid? The way it works is that there is a single beginning of a story, but multiple endings, depending on which action is chosen.
Students have to work in groups of four to brainstorm some ideas for the various possibilities and then get to work writing them! Find out more about it: https://eslspeaking.org/choose-your-own-adventure/
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 76 Pages - 11/28/2015 (Publication Date)
#4: Find Someone Who Bingo Game
It’s certainly possible to do this activity with a serious brainstorming element if you get students to think of the categories of things they may want to know about someone. For example, job, hobbies, family, etc. It’s a nice icebreaker activity for the first day of class to help students get to know each other.
Learn more about this brain storm game here: https://eslactivity.org/find-someone-who-bingo-game-for-esl-students/
#5: Brainstorm Games
Here are of the top ideas for brain storm activities and games.
#6: Hot Potato Brain Storming Game
This is a fun way to get students to brainstorm some ideas or words related to a single category of things. Students have to pass around a “potato” (or other classroom object) and when the music stops or a timer goes off, the person holding it has to do a task. In this case, it may be listing a word in a category (clothes, food, etc.) or adding an idea to a brainstorming mind map or chart on the whiteboard. It’s certainly a way to make brainstorming more fun and exciting!
#7: Name 5 Things
This is a simple activity that can be done in pairs of groups of three. Each team has one piece of paper and then the teacher says, “Write 5 ____.” The blank can be various things, depending on the level of the students but some examples are the following:
- animals that live on a farm
- adjectives to describe a big city
The first team to finish puts up their hands and the teacher can check their answers to see if they match. Play multiple rounds.
#8: Storm the Whiteboard
This is a quick brainstorming activity that is high on competition and interaction, making it perfect for kids. Divide the class up into 3-4 teams (depending on the number of students and amount of whiteboard space you have). They each line up behind one student who is standing at the whiteboard with a marker.
Call out a category (animals, jobs, etc.) or criteria (things you can do with a _____.) and the first students have to write down something on the board. Then, they pass the marker to the next person and go to the back of their line. The team with the most number of ideas or words at the end of the time is the winner.
#9: ESL Vocabulary Activities
#10: Shout it Out
Divide students into 3-4 teams. Then, say a category to the first team who has to shout as many words as possible to you (quickly write them on the whiteboard) in that category in 1 minute. Each team gets a change to play 1-3 rounds with different categories for each one. Add up the points to see who is the winner.
#11: Draw Something
Set a timer for 1 minute and have everyone draw something. You an assign a theme such a monster, landscape scene, etc., or just let people be creative. You might also say something very simple like an apple, or piece of toast.
#12: What Can It Do?
Bring in a common object such as a paperclip, or an eraser. Put students into groups and they can try to come up with as many uses as possible for the object in a couple of minutes.
Brain Storming Worksheets
Brainstorming Lesson Plans
If you’re a teacher then you’ll know how much time ready-made lesson plans can save you. And after all, someone else has already done the hard work so you don’t have to! Here are some of our top picks for brain storm lesson plans:
Did you like these Brainstorming Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 57 Pages - 10/26/2015 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so. Then you’re going to love this book over on Amazon: 39 ESL Vocabulary Activities for Teenagers and Adults. The key to better English classes with kids, teens, university students or adults is a wide variety of engaging, interactive and student-centred games and activities and this book will help you get there in style. It’s ideal for helping students build better English vocabularies and being able to use these words in the correct context.
You can find the book in both digital and print formats. Consider keeping a copy on the shelf in your office to pull out as a handy reference guide when doing lesson planning. Or, download the free Kindle reading app and take a copy with you to your favourite coffee shop on any device for a serious lesson planning session on the go.
Either way, it’s easier than ever to get some ESL vocab teaching awesome. Head over to Amazon to check out the book for yourself but only if you want to level up your teaching in a big way:
Brain Storming Games FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about brainstorming games and activities. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
How do you do a brainstorm game?
You can do a brainstorm game by focusing on quantity, not quality. The goal is to come up with as many ideas as possible and not judge them for merit. Withhold criticism until the end of the game. At this point, you can select the top options.
What are the 4 types of brainstorming?
The four types of brainstorming are as follows:
- Reverse Brainstorming.
- Stop-and-Go Brainstorming.
- Phillips 66 Brainstorming.
What is brain storming?
Brain storming is the process of generating as many ideas as possible through free thinking without being bound by restraints. There should be no judgement on whether or not an idea is “good” or “bad.”
What are the four rules of brainstorming?
Here are the four rules of brainstorming:
- Quantity is most important (vs. quality).
- Don’t criticize or judge any idea.
- Encourage creativity.
- Combine and improve ideas during the process.
What is the main purpose of brainstorming?
The main purpose of brainstorming is to come up with lots of ideas quickly for a piece of writing, task, project, etc.
Have your Say about these Brainstorm Activities & Games
What’s your top pick for a brainstorm game? Is it one of the activities on this list or do you have another one that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy teachers, like yourself find this useful resource.
Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API