Posted by: nancyisanders | April 18, 2016

NF PB Journey: Brainstorming

Dirty Rats

Let’s take a quick look at our mentor text, Dirty Rats?

The topic is straightforward. It starts with rats in general and then presents different kinds of rats with their specific, unique characteristics.

So let’s brainstorm ideas for a topic to write about. Now you can choose any topic you’d like, but if you want to follow closely along the same steps I’m doing, I recommend we choose a group of animals that has lots of different kinds.

For example, elephants won’t work as well because there are only 2 different kinds.

But animals such as bears, monkeys, horses, cows, butterflies, or even worms would work. Each of these animal groups has a lot of different kinds!

To help you brainstorm, I designed an “Idea Bubbles Brainstorming” sheet. CLICK HERE to visit my site, Writing According to Humphrey and Friends, to download it as a pdf file. Just scroll half-way down and click on the link for “Idea Bubbles Brainstorming.”

Print it out. As you brainstorm ideas for a topic, write the name of a group of animals in the large bubbles. In the smaller bubbles nearest each, write down different kinds of that animal.

Think about which animal you might like to write about for the topic of your new nonfiction picture book using Dirty Rats? as our mentor text. Have fun exploring different ideas!


Idea Bubbles Brainstorming


  1. There you go again, Nancy, giving us another fun and useful worksheet. You never cease to amaze me with all you do for others!

    • Thanks for your kind words, Mona. Now brainstorm away!!!!

  2. Nancy, you always come up with the neatest worksheets! Thank you for this article.

    • You’re welcome, Sheila!! I hope you come up with some great ideas.

  3. Thanks! I’ve got a great idea and your worksheet will really help.

    • Yay! I’m so excited you’ve got a great idea! That’s always such a big step forward.

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