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Padlet: Brainstorming/Pre-Writing Activity

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, and/or Interactive Whiteboard

Activity Description

In this activity, students give their opinions on a current/controversial issue by writing notes on a Padlet wall as part of a pre-writing/brainstorming activity. The teacher then leads a class activity in which each note is read and grouped with notes that share a similar view of the particular issue. The teacher or students physically move the notes on an interactive whiteboard or computer and projector and discuss the various arguments that have been made.


  1. Identify the current/controversial issue you want the class to discuss and write about.
  2. Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school.
  3. Go to Padlet and register. You can simply create a wall without registering, but if you do, you can not change or manage the wall after 24 hours, so it's best to create an account.
  4. Select the big “+" sign or "Build a wall.” You will then see your blank wall and the tools on the right of the screen.
  5. You can Modify the wall to give it a title and a seed question.
  6. Type in a title and a description (which is where you would place your seed question or comment, or place the seed question in the title field and give instructions to students in the Description area).
  7. You can then select the "Add" box that has a camera on it to add a small image if you like or you may choose one from Padlet options.
  8. Next you can change the Wallpaper and the Layout if you want.
  9. You can also change who can have access to your Padlet by making a choice under "Privacy."
  10. To share the Padlet with your students, copy the link under "Address" and e-mail or provide it in some other method. You can also enter a customized URL by typing it in the box labeled "Pick a address".


  1. Introduce the topic or current/controversial issue by showing a news/video clip or providing a short reading.
  2. Lead a brief discussion to activate background knowledge and build interest in the topic.
  3. Have students visit the Padlet site you already created.
  4. Demonstrate how to post something on the wall (double-click and type). You may choose to have students write their names or post anonymously - it is up to you. Either way, model the format you would like them to use.
  5. Have students respond to the question. While they are doing this, create 2 notes to use as headings for when students categorize the responses (i.e. "Yes, mobile devices should be banned" and "No, mobile devices should not be banned")
  6. When everyone has finished, have each student read one of the notes and categorize the response. If you have an interactive white board, have the students move the note under the appropriate heading
  7. See if students can provide any additional arguments to include on the wall.
  8. Have students select three arguments they think best justify their opinion and write them on a piece of paper. Use this for helping them develop an outline.

Teacher Tips

  • Make sure students have basic computer and Web navigation skills before conducting this activity in class.
  • If you selected "Moderate posts" when building your wall, the next time you log in to view your wall, any new "sticky note" will require your approval before they can be viewed by others. Select Approve or Remove for each.
  • There is also video tutorial online.

More Ways

Teachers can:

  • post a question and ask students to post their responses as a pre-reading activity or to use as the basis of a discussion or as a post-reading reflection.
  • provide class information and announcements.
  • ask students to contribute suggestions for class or to evaluate an activity.
  • assign students to post a self-evaluation or peer review for a class assignment or project.
  • use as a discussion board for a given topic or debate.
  • document learning goals for the class.

Students can:

  • post introductions of themselves.
  • post short biographical or autobiographical sketches.
  • tell about their jobs.
  • share holiday or family traditions.
  • document educational or career goals.
  • write and share poetry.
  • add a book or movie review.
  • share things to do and see in the city where they live.
  • recommend best restaurants, stores, coffee shops, places to study.
  • write about the place of their birth or where they live now.

Both teachers and students can share favorite Web sites, videos, and other online resources for learning.


  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills

Mobile Device


  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android Phone
  • Android Tablet

Apple Store

Google Store

Developer Site

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.