Generating and Sharing Ideas

Additional Purpose(s):

Supporting Thinking


This process allows for an anonymous and safe way to activate prior knowledge and share ideas and thinking in response to a prompt.


  1. Provide each learner with a blank paper with a prompt at the top. 
  2. Provide time for learners to respond to the prompt.  
  3. Then instruct learners to crumple up their papers – their “snowballs” – and wait for a signal to throw them. 
  4. Have learners collect a “snowball” that is not theirs, open it up, and add to/ respond to what is written. 
  5. Learners continue to crumple and throw, retrieve and add/respond until the educator feels that they have captured enough thinking onto the page.  
  6. On the last crumple and throw, learners do not write. Instead, as a whole group, learners share and discuss what is on their page in an anonymous and safe way.


Blank paper


Indicate a safe, open space for learners to throw their “snowballs.”


Adapted from: Lipton, L. & Wellman, B. (2011). Groups at work: Strategies and structures for professional learning (p. 72). MiraVia.