On one color paper or a 12 inch x 18 inch paper (big) brainstorm possible topics.
First, the teacher lists lots of broad, general topics on board with input from the class and reads them to class. (transportation, vacations, family, school, favorite places, special people, pets or favorite animals, church, home, relaxation, family members, school kids, friends, field trips, playground, zoo, specials, stores, etc.). Then teacher has students write possible topics for two minutes. Interrupt them saying, “Raise your hand if you have ridden on a train? If you have ridden in a plane? If you have driven a tractor?” Record more topics (for two minutes.) “Have you ever done something embarrassing? Consoled a friend? Given a gift you’ve made?” Add to your list.
I am going to pick four topics that I know about. I am an expert in these four topics. The teacher chooses four general topics and records them on her 12 x 18 paper. She writes one topic in each square. I am choosing four topics that I know a lot about. I am picking school because I know a lot about school. I am picking relax because I could write about relaxing. I am writing people because I know a lot of special people. My fourth topic is specials.
Now it is your turn. Pick 4 topics from the board or your own ideas. They have to be big.
The kids brainstormed writing their 4 topics.
To spark my students’ memories, I ask the whole class a series of questions. Students write these answers on the Individual Brainstorming Topic Paper. To encourage topic development the teacher asks her students questions such as these:
Raise your hand if you have…
-Ever been in kindergarten? What was your teacher’s name? Write it down. I usually tell them something I remember from kindergarten. My teacher was Mrs. Murphy. She was barely taller than me. She taught me to read. I would go into the backroom and read with John and Chris. What do you remember the most?
-Ever been in first grade? What about second?
-Ever had a field trip? What was the best part?
The teacher then narrowed their topics:
1-school: gym, music, math, class, book baskets, recess, 2nd grader
2-relax: reading books in bed, walking on beach,
3-people: Kindergarten teacher (Mrs. Murphy)
4-special: gym, music, library, art,
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