One of the most challenging aspects of an assignment for some students is coming up with an idea. The adage that I subscribe to and teach is to “write what you know.” Currently, my students are working on speeches. Coming up with a topic is challenging because, as one of my students said, “There’s just so much you can do.”
There is a misnomer that a proper brainstorming session involves students shouting out stream of consciousness thoughts, whatever first comes to mind. This method typically doesn’t produce the best ideas and is challenging to control.
To brainstorm ideas for a speech, I ask students to take a personal inventory of sorts. Individually, each student has to answer a series of questions in a Google Document titled: “What do You Care About?” After they have answered the questions, students may share their answers with the class. From the answers we generate a Google Document where they can further review possible speech topics. All three sections of 10th Grade English contribute to the document.