Teaching Kids: More on Brainstorming

Write a post, teach a class, come back and write some more...

I just taught my puppet class in which we are beginning scripts and storyboards for brief scenes -- after having spent a few weeks using up a whole lot of glue and felt and googly eyes.

To start things off I used the prompting method I mentioned in my previous post. I offered up suggestions within categories, and then let the kids run with it.

For example, we talked through the components of a story: a main character, a villain, a problem, a setting, props, sidekicks, narrator, dialog, etc. And then I gave them some sample ideas like comedy, tragedy, disaster/monster, mystery, etc.

Then the kids (who are in 3rd-5th grade) broke up into teams of one or two students and began writing. As they developed their ideas, I helped them work through how something might work with puppets - or where they may need the narrator to explain what is going on or create a piece of scenery or whatnot.

Some of them really got involved with a main character right away, others started with a situation and went from there.

The stories they are creating involve everything from undersea hamburgers to hurricanes to turtle weddings to getting lost inside someone's brain. I can't wait to see how they will come out.

Next time we'll get into storyboards, so they sketch out exactly what's supposed to happen on the stage... and what may not be totally feasible using socks and felt.

But again, as I described before, I offered some general categories as a jumping-off point, something for them to grab on to, and then let them take off from there. It's a fabulous start.