Dump and Clump

Type of strategy: Brainstorming and DiscussionCollaboration

Intended Audience: StudentsTeachers

Learning styles: EN: Extraversion and IntuitionES: Extraversion and SensingIN: Introversion and Intuition

This strategy is used to provide a deeper understanding of vocabulary/content information by using critical thinking skills to categorize words. Students begin by organizing their words and placing them into the appropriate categories. The conversation that happens in each group will help in understanding and retention of the words. The teacher may provide the categories or the students can create their own categories depending on the content and level of the student. The teacher may also choose to have each group write a summary sentence using words from the categories.




  1. Group students into small groups of 2-3.
  2. Dump” – Have students develop a list of words, items, or new information related to the topic of study.
  3. Clump” – Using the “dump” word list, students should categorize (clump) and label words from the list.
  4. Have students write a descriptive summary sentence for each category of words.
  5. Upon completion, these should be posted around the room or shared in small groups.


PDF icon dump_and_clump_2.pdf



Submitted by: Lori Cullen Brown