We all have ideas. It’s important to SAVE THEM before we forget them. But where? In this video above (share with your students) I show my IDEA NOTEBOOK and tell how and where I save my ideas, including the idea file on my computer.

An idea paper in the front of a writing folder or notebook is a perfect place for students to save ideas. It can be simply labeled MY IDEAS with room to jot down new ideas for writing. Or it may be divided into sections, such as POETRY IDEAS, ANIMAL IDEAS, NONFICTION IDEAS, etc. See the included HANDOUT for SAVING IDEAS.

Discuss with students where they currently save their writing ideas. Does that place work? Why or why not? Do they have more than one place to save their ideas? Do they organize their writing ideas in some way? If so, how?

When students save ideas on a list, you can then talk with them about which they’ll choose to write about next. Why did they choose the ideas they did? Are some ideas too big or broad, such as “space” or “pets” (and need to be narrowed/focused before writing)? Are other ideas too small or narrow, such as “a tack” or “my dog’s nose” (and need to be expanded before writing). Which ideas do students care most about? Which are assigned topics for writing?

Students need to know it’s okay (actually desirable) to have LOTS OF IDEAS–so that they have choices for what to write about. Also, the more ideas they generate, then the more ideas they’ll get. The brain gets used to generating ideas–it becomes an IDEA MACHINE!


How DO Authors Get Ideas?
Ideas for Getting Ideas

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