One way teachers can help students select effective topics for their writing assignments is by modeling the process of topic generation. It's important that the teacher walk the student through this process. By modeling topic generation, the teacher clarifies the process for students and helps to make the thinking process visible. The Brainstorming and Listing Exercise is designed to help the teacher with this modeling.
This exercise combines both brainstorming and listing. It is designed to help the teacher model the topic generating process for students. No special set up materials are needed. This exercise can be done on a whiteboard or on a blank overhead.