- Students will learn to free-associate.
- Students will use their lists to write a poem or descriptive piece.
- Students will find commonality among their lists.
- Students will be taught how to free-associate by watching the teacher model the technique on the board. Share the definition of "free association" with your students: the reporting of the first thought that comes to mind in response to a given stimulus (as a word).
- Start by generating a list of things you are thankful for. Tell them that you will write down anything that comes to mind, without editing. The object of this exercise is to generate a long, diverse list.
- Have students begin their lists.
- After sufficient time, allow students to share their lists. It's important to model enthusiasm for items on the lists that you have in common.
- Students refer to their lists to write. Some suggestions are: descriptive paragraphs, letters to people they are thankful for, posters of their thankful lists, or poems.
- Be sure to tell them that this technique is a very successful way to elicit writing.