Teach your students to think and communicate more effectively! The Six Thinking Hats method of metacognition provides an easily comprehended and applied common language for students and teachers to use to develop interpersonal relationships in groups and apply to community problems or projects. Students can also apply the Six Thinking Hats method to their own intra-personal relationship (self-talk) to help develop, manage, and maintain constructive momentum, endurance, and tenacity.
This presentation is a complete three-part presentation to be shown all at once or in multiple settings.
I am a fan of Edward De Bono's Six Thinking Hats process of metacognition, but I modify it for my own classroom use in a couple ways. First is the use of the Black & White Hat instead of the White Hat for identifying facts. The Black & White Hat represents facts written in "black and white" and is connected to the reporter’s “guide” of 5 W’s and 1 H (who, what, where, when, why and how) questioning to uncover the facts of a story.
Next, as seen in Part Two of this presentation, I use the color purple to symbolize the negative possibilities instead of using the color black. The connections the students and I make with purple and negative possibilities include a purple bruise or a purple storm cloud, e.g., you don't get a bruise every time you go to recess but you might if you jump out of the swing. Or, clouds don't always mean you can't go swimming, but it isn’t safe to get in the water if it’s going to storm. The Yellow Hat is also introduced in Part Two to encourage students to consider both positive and negative possibilities while problem solving.
Making these modifications satisfies my desire to address color connotations that didn't set well with me, particularly for classroom use with impressionable young folks.
In Part Three: Putting it All Together, students are introduced to the Green and Blue Hats and apply all six Hats to a school uniform scenario.
I've seen a lot of success with this method in my classroom. Students can relate to the colors easily and are able to quickly implement both the language and the logic of the strategy. With time and practice, many students will begin to automatically self-regulate their emotions, which makes it easier to develop more strategic thinking skills. Even more fun: many of my students have taken this strategy home with them and successfully taught it to siblings and parents!
I hope you and your students benefit from this method! Please let me know your thoughts!