The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer because, truthfully, you can never have enough ideas! While you may not need every idea you’ve ever had at this very moment, the ideas you come up with can definitely be useful in the future. You never know when a past inspiration can become useful going forward.
This exercise is inspired by entrepreneur James Altucher’s “idea machine” concept, which is simply to come up with ten ideas every day. The goal is to strengthen your idea-creating muscles so that coming up with new ideas becomes easier and easier. You can then use your ideas for pretty much anything within your drama classroom – ideas for future topics or lessons, ideas for classroom games and activities, ideas for shows you might produce in the future, ideas for a class-devised theatrical piece, ideas for playwriting… The list goes on and on. And if you are ever feeling blocked creatively, you can go back to your lists of ten ideas for inspiration.
For at least one week at the beginning of class, write a prompt for students to use as a jumping-off point. For each prompt, each student will individually come up with ten ideas and write them down. At the end of the school week, every student will have generated 50 ideas each!
You can build on each individual brainstorming session by having students come together into small groups (four to five students) to share their ideas, and come up with their top ten favourite ideas to present to the rest of the class. Have students look for patterns and similar ideas that they came up with individually, as well as ideas that combine well together to create an even more exciting idea.
At the end of the week, students will complete and submit a Reflection.
Where will your ideas take you and your class? The possibilities are endless!