This is a very useful practice, especially for elementary school aged children, because it is a quick way of writing down all the facts that a child knows about the subject that he/she will be writing about. It is very difficult to convince elementary children to attempt the task of writing anything.  They will need all the assistance that we can give them to get them started on their essay.

Brainstorming Serves Two Major Purposes:

1.You will see what you do know about the topic, issue or writing prompt that you are requires to write about.
2.You will find out  what you do not  know about the topic, issue or writing prompt  of the topic that you are required to write about.

If you determine that you lack enough information to create your essay, writing prompt  or composition, then the student is aware that he/she needs to read more materials on the chosen subject in order to have the needed materials to complete the assignment. At this point, the student needs to implement research skills, and determine how and what resources they will use to gather the needed materials.

Brainstorming can be:
1. Very quick                 
2.Can be very specific , or a very general accumulation of information
3. focused on the topic  that is being written about
4.Create a  listing  of facts  about the topic you are writing on.

Brainstorming Techniques:

When you freewrite, you allow  your ideas to flow directly to your pen to paper. You want to  write down whatever ideas and thought you can think about concerning the topic you are researching. Don’t worry about sentence structure; is it a complete or incomplete sentence,  is it correct punctuation or spelling; am I using correct grammar. You  must only be concern about writing as much as possible. You could set a time limit, or just continue writing until you run out of thoughts and ideas.  The important task at hand  is to WRITE, WRITE, AND WRITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2.Look For Facts That You Can Use In Your Paper: 
After you have completed the freewriting, now it is time to stop and go back and read over the text that you just completed. You will notice that you will find a lot of unusable ideas that you have written down, but you will also find some important facts that you stated. What do you do next ? 

A. Look for the important facts that you believe will be usable in your writing. Either highlight or underline them.(This is extremely important!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

B. Now select a brainstorming graphic organizer and write these most important ideas down.

After you have written your ideas down on your graphic organizer, you will be able to use this information when you begin to attempt to write  your essay or composition.

3.Break down your ideas on your graphic organizer into topics.
A. General Topic OneThe relationship between the Transcontinental Railroad and the   development of the western states.

B. A specific subtopic one…How did the railroad help develop new cities in the western part of  North America.. 
C.Be aware of a single term or phrase that you sense you're overusing in the paper.
If you discover that you are using a single word  or phrase over and over again, for               example:"The railroads helped transport people and materials to the West much faster",      then brainstorm on the various materials and kinds people that were transported by these        railroads.Have the child research this more on the Internet so he.she can gather more specific details. I believe that this is where elementary students fail in their writing, that is failing to find as much detail as they possibility can

4.Cubing….This allows you to write about the topic from six different directions.                 Since a cube has six sides, you can jot down six different approaches to the issue that you are reporting on:
1.Describe it.--use descriptive sentences, adjectives, prepositional phrases, colorful language 
2.Compare it- use compare and contrast reading and writing strategies, talk about similar        and differences. 
3 Correlate it- with something similar or different. 
Investigate  it.- again, complete some Internet searches and research it- 
Engage it. - get into the habit of writing as much about a specific detail using descriptive     language. Describe the issue fully!!!!!!!!
6.Dispute for and against it. Encourage the student to express an opinion, and maybe how history could have been changed if something was done different.

Techniques of Brainstorming