Brainstorming for Consensus

Grade Levels: Pre-K - 2

  • Students will learn how to brainstorm.
  • Students will learn how to come to a consensus.
  • An ordinary object such as a box, a wooden spoon, or a cardboard tube
  1. Explain that the purpose of brainstorming is to come up with as many ideas as possible in a short period of time, using the following rules:
    1. During the brainstorm no one says whether the ideas are good or bad, sensible or silly, workable or not workable.
    2. The point is simply to get out as many ideas as they can.
    3. Tell students that after the brainstorm is finished, they will evaluate the ideas.
  2. Set the object in front of the group.
  3. Ask students to suggest all the things that they could do with the object.
  4. Write their suggestions on the board.
  5. After a few minutes, or after energy for the brainstorm runs down, end the brainstorm.
  6. Tell students they will be reviewing each idea individually and voting with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down sign to signify whether they think an idea is workable or unworkable.
  7. Put a mark by each idea that the majority of the group thinks could work.
  8. Allowing students to vote only once, conduct a poll in which students give a thumbs-up for their favorite idea.
  9. Tally the marks to find the students' favorite idea.

Excerpted from Early Childhood Adventures in Peacemaking by William J. Kreidler and Sally Tsubokawa.

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