Brainstorming Activities for High School

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Brainstorming can be a valuable skill for high-school students, regardless of their grade and skill level. These activity ideas will help you try new brainstorming strategies with your students.


Whether students need to begin a creative writing assignment, develop proposals for a research project, or start planning how to graduate, and what to do from there, they will have instances in which they need to know how to come up with ideas. Brainstorming is an important skill that students will use throughout high school and into their college years and/or careers. These activities can help your high-school students practice and apply brainstorming techniques.

Brainstorming Activities for High School

Changing Perspectives

For this activity, students will try to put themselves in someone else's shoes and brainstorm from that person's perspective. This can be a great way to encourage students to broaden their thinking, and can also be very easily connected to other things they're studying in school. For example:

  1. In a history class: Assign each student a person from history and ask them to approach the problem as that person would
  2. In a science class: Assign each student a famous scientist
  3. In a literature class: Assign each student a fictional character
  4. In Black History Month: Assign each student an important African American leader, artist, activist, or innovator
  5. In reference to pop culture: Assign each student a superhero
  6. General: Assign each student a random profession or public figure
  • Materials: Writing supplies, lists of perspectives as needed

Just Write

This activity is very simple; students have to write for ten minutes. This may sound easy, but the catch is that they can never stop writing. They must write constantly, for every second of these ten minutes. Even if all they can think to write is ''ummmmmmm I don't know what to write'', they must keep writing. Once they're done, ask them to look through all the ideas that sprang to mind and sort through them.

  • Materials: Writing supplies, stopwatch/clock

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