I ask students to choose one of two words from an overhead. I time them for one minute and ask that they quickly jot down any words that they can associate with the given word. At the end of the time, I ask them to count up the number of words they have and write the number in the margin. This procedure is repeated three or four times. Students find that they are challenged to think and write quickly so they write more each time. This activity gives students ideas on which they can expand later as we look for pieces to publish.