in Spanish 3 we are about to tackle the Spanish Civil War.  My class knows a lot about war from our study of El Salvador so I wanted to activate some prior knowledge.  This collaborative brainstorm (out train-storm) seemed like a good way to start ignite their thinking!

1st buzzer (8 minutes) brainstorm a list of 5-10 things you remember about the war in El Salvador, its causes, and its lasting effects. Sign your name.

Pass paper left (thus the train)

2nd buzzer (5 minutes- read the facts listed and add as many more as you can) and sign your name.

3rd buzzer (3 minutes)- read the facts and add anything else you can and sign your name.

At this point I collected the papers and asked table groups to create a master list of causes/events/effects of the war.  They could only use TL at their tables.  I kept them honest by having them use a phone to record a voice memo of their discussion!

My students are playing amazing race this year and this was one of their tasks!  Their ranks in the race were based on both quantity and quality of train-stormed facts!

What I liked about the activity was that seeing what others had written often jarred students memories and led to further development of the lists!  In addition, slower processors were able to contribute because they could read and write at their own pace! Sometimes they get left behind in the upper level classes because by now the fastest processors are so very very fast!


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