Exercise to Wake Up the Brain Cells

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June 13, 2011 by WITS Editor

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Image by davemc500hats via Flickr

Dr. Seuss used to say, “I like nonsense.  It wakes up the brain cells.”  This summer I am challenging myself to make up more of my own “jabberwocky.”

I’m taking lessons in this from my own students.  Uninhibited writers are experts at experimenting, taking risks, and acting crazy.  My 2nd graders are willing to push the boundaries of sense, so I’m paying close attention to them.  I’ve noticed that the ones who are most reckless and free in their approach to writing are the ones who enjoy playing with language and ideas.

For those of us who need some help loosening up, here is a good exercise to wake up the brain cells.  It involves juxtaposing words in original ways.

Below is a group of words.  To play the game, take two to four words and create a phrase with them.   The goal is to come up with phrases that you would not normally think of (“blue city,” “ocean song,” etc.)!  Go crazy!

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Writers in the Schools (WITS)


Writers in the Schools (WITS) is the #1 arts education organization in Texas. With 80 writers and educators on staff, WITS reaches over 23,000 students a year in classrooms, community centers, museums, parks, and hospitals.

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