Pick 2 Brainstorming Strategy

2 Min Read  •  Inspiration

Since the beginning of time, people have been brainstorming to combine two seemingly unrelated items in new and creative ways. At one point in our history, either a creative thinker or an accidental inventor, created a wheel. That wheel, when added to a range of other objects brought such amazing outcomes. Think of the cart to the car, or a wheel used with clay to create vessels.

When imagining more modern examples, we can look to the sofa bed, Swiss Army Knife, Apple Watch, or my personal favorite, the spork.

The “Pick 2 Brainstorming Strategy” gets the creative juices flowing or it can be used to build an entire lesson. This strategy asks students to innovate new ways to combine two unlike objects, shapes, or animals together to make something brand new.

For example, how would you combine a table and plant?

  • Would the table become a planter or would the plant be formed to provide the sturdy service and the appearance of a table like a topiary?
  • If the table became a planter, then how would it be designed to still be functional?
  • What kind of plant would work best?
  • What about watering the plant or providing it with enough sun?

It is good to go through this process as a group first. It demonstrates what you expect from the exercise and models the activity.


Students can work individually or in groups. You can create the objects being combined or you can have students generate a master list for the class.

  • Write a list and pick randomly from bag
  • Roll Paper Dice (Found HERE) with 4 words written on the sides and students can select their own combinations
  • Bring actual items

How to Use It

Students can…

  • Build or make an invention depending on the objects selected
  • Create an ad campaign for their new creation. This could include video, graphic design programs, posters, or some presentations.
  • Spark an idea for bettering people’s lives and improving the world. It may even turn out to be a service learning project.
  • Use it as a creative brain warm-up or a fun drawing activity

Some Examples of Arts Integration Connections

  • History: Pyramids made from Ancient Chinese pottery
  • Animals and Zoology with animal combinations: A Flying Turtle
  • Add geometric shapes in the mix: a Basketball in the shape of a Cube

Have fun with the creativity that will emerge from the “Pick 2 Brainstorming Strategy.” The combinations and outcomes may surprise you.