Exclusion Brainstorming


 GCSS Teacher Toolbox

Literacy Strategy

Name of Strategy: Exclusion Brainstorming

Purpose:  Exclusion brainstorming helps students activate and build prior knowledge of topic as a way of learning new words or phrases that connect to a larger concept.


• Prepare an exclusion brainstorming list that includes new words and phrases related to the key concept.
• Students work in groups to identify words they think will appear in the selection and those which will not.
• Students mark a line through words and phrases they think will not appear in the selection, and be prepared to explain why.
• After students read the selection, they will compare their choices with the actual text.
• Discuss with students how the process helped them as they read the selection.

Regardless of their choices, thinking and talking about why a word might or might not appear enlarges students’ thinking about language as it relates to a specific event. Students can revisit the words after they’ve read the material to see whether their guesses held true. Talking about what words fit, how words they didn’t anticipate made their way into the text about the topic, and ways that common words took on uncommon meanings in relation to the topic are all rich learning experiences.



Dr. Stephanie Birdsong
February 13, 2015