Brainstorm activity in classroom is a bore and a chore. There are steps to organize thoughts and this is the biggest reason why most students get mental block. First we have to define the main topic, and then we have to spread it by subtopics and sub-subtopics. Instead of encouraging spontaneity, we feel pressured to churn out ideas. Students are not able to perform because they think too much - "What if this is a sub-subtopic and not a subtopic? I can't write it down first!" I think the method should be more free-flow like collages.
I happen to come across an art journal assignment this week which mentioned use of collage to collect ideas before writing a critique. I was already familiar with collage because I kept a small journal when I was before preteen. My parents suggested that I cut out pictures from newspapers to paste in a book, instead of keeping the entire sheet of newspaper whenever I spotted something or someone I fancied - the idea was simple. What I did not realise is that I was making collage on each page of which has inspired me until today. A page of collage is as close as I can describe to how my thoughts actually look like in my mind. For me, collage works two ways. First, like a needle in a haystack, a page full of images in no particular form. Second, like a magnet, starting with one image attracting more similar images. One main reason why I like 'collage thinking' is know there is no finite destination. It is a free-flow of ideas in a collective space, thus it enables me to jump from one thought to another instantly; it is exciting for my mind to know there are no rules.