Go Spy!

My class has a lot of energy.

Lots.

Of.

Energy.

Luckily, so do I. It has been my desire from the beginning of the year to use that energy and, I don't know, aim it? I don't want to delimit this energy. It is a resource (I tell myself that on nights when I collapse onto the sofa with exhaustion).

Brainstorming is something we need to do. To get better at. It is a skill. One of the main reasons to brainstorm is to get ideas from a diverse set of people, in order to push and challenge your own thinking. In this regards, the group is more intelligent than the individual. I wanted to illustrate this principal, so I came up with this activity to make it visible.

Context: We were looking at two pictures, one of a weeping willow and the other of a ginkgo tree in full fall bloom. They were brainstorming descriptive words to describe the physical appearance. We will use these words to analyse a poem and write our own.

Go Spy!

1) Get with a partner. This partner is your home-base
2) Brainstorm words together
3) Spy! Wander around the room and steal ideas from the other spies (trade information, peek a look, eavesdrop, etc.)
4) Home base! Report back to your partner and tell them what you have learned
5) Spy!
6) Home base!
7) Repeat as desired

This strategy gave them a couple of things to think about and reflect upon, and we had a great discussion.

Could you have produced this list on your own? What does it mean to steal ideas? Is it really stealing if we are all working together? How is this game like reality? How is it unlike reality?

Try it. Good fun. Great thinking.


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