Research Phase One: Brainstorming

Contributor: Emily Love. Lesson ID: 10436

What can you learn from spiders? You can learn how to research your next paper! Like a spider weaves a web, you can weave ideas by brainstorming. Learn to map your mind and write a great paper!



English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Think about all of the different types of storms: thunderstorms, blizzards, ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes. Chances are that you've seen at least one of these storms happening with your own eyes.

Now, think about a different kind of storm: a brainstorm.

  • What comes to mind when you hear that phrase?

Draw a picture of what a brainstorm would look like.

Research can seem like something only adults do, but anyone can conduct research.

All you need is curiosity! You've certainly asked questions before, whether you asked another person or only thought about it. Research simply starts with a question, then you get to take on the role of a detective who must find the answers.

This is the first of five Related Lessons in the series, Research, found in the right-hand sidebar.

When beginning a research project, one of the most challenging steps is selecting a topic. Learning how to brainstorm can make this step much easier.

Brainstorming is a way to activate your creative thinking and develop new ideas.

Learning how to brainstorm helps you focus your attention, come up with multiple ideas, select the topic that will be most interesting, and produce the best quality content.

Step 1

Think of a topic that interests you. You can choose anything, from an animal to a mode of transportation to a historical figure.

When you have your topic, draw a button and write your topic in the center.

Let's say your topic will be dolphins; it might look something like this.

Step 2

Start to ask yourself some questions about your topic — questions about new information that you can't already answer.

  • For instance, you probably know that dolphins live in the ocean, but do you know how long dolphins live?
  • What about how they sleep?

Begin drawing lines from your center button to new buttons where you can write these questions. You should also use different colors to separate your main topic from these sub-topics.

This is sometimes called mind-mapping because it allows you to create a map of the thoughts in your head. It might look something like this.

Step 3

After you have at least four questions, pick one that you think is the most interesting. Now, you need to try to find answers to your question.

This will be the beginning stage of your research!

Continue on to the Got It? section to get that brainstorm going!

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