Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Connecting Organic Chemistry to the Food We Eat (Day 3 of 5) - Section 4: The Classroom Flow: Brainstorming Visual Displays


Once students have created and analyzed their concept maps for areas of interest and gaps of information, it is time for them to choose something to focus on for their main project.  I find that students are reluctant to leave anything out for fear of losing points.

The main key to a great brainstorming session for students is to check in with each group to encourage them, remind them, and repeat to them that the expectation is that they determine the specific set of information that they wish to learn more about and create an interesting, interactive display around. For most groups, you will need to repeat this twice with a very big smile and lots of supportive, warm energy before they believe you.

Ask them to tell you what they are thinking they might like to explore.  When they tell you, offer encouragement and ask them more questions.  Open ended prompts like the ones below that continually turn the focus back to the student group so that they can talk through their ideas and see they are on the right track are what works here:

  • What might that look like in your display?
  • Have you thought about an interview at the local supermarket/emailing a professor at the university/making a video/putting together a class taste test/using music/dressing up in costume/bringing in samples/etc.?
  • What kinds of materials would you need?  
  • Can I help you with any part of your project?
  •  Who in your group is most interested in taking charge of that?
  • I'm noticing that…
  • What do you think about adding….?

Your skills as a facilitator are the most critical part of a great brainstorming session for students that will generate creative, unique, inspired project ideas that students are eager to implement.

  Setting Up for Effective Brainstorming Sessions
  Adjustments to Practice: Setting Up for Effective Brainstorming Sessions
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Connecting Organic Chemistry to the Food We Eat (Day 3 of 5)

Unit 4: Unit 4: Molecules of Life: Organic Chemistry
Lesson 13 of 15

Objective: Students will be able to research, discuss, and present information about current food topics and connect them to our organic chemistry unit.

Big Idea: Dig into food science topics with this project to connect student experiences to organic chemistry and the world!

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1 teacher likes this lesson
Science, food (Personal Health), Organic and Biochemistry, Life Science/Biology, lipids, carbohydrates, processed foods, calories, senses, proteins, GMOs, molecule
  50 minutes
food addiction food sci project process work annotations and
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