Using Hexagonal Thinking Virtually

One of my top favorite ways to encourage deep thinking among my students has been to use Hexagonal Thinking. I have written about it several times on this blog because I always so impressed with the discussions I hear in small groups when we use this strategy. Here are some of the previous posts I’ve done on this topic, where students make and explain connections using hexagons with words or pictures.

Hexagonal Thinking can be used with any subject. I’ve used it to introduce topics (kind of a fail that time, but I learned what could make it better), as a formative assessment, and as a reflection activity. Creating the hexagons for in-class discussions is fairly easy using this hexagon generator. (Even easier if you have a Cricut or Silhouette Cameo) But, how can this strategy be used effectively during these times of social distancing and virtual classes?

Fortunately, you can find that answer in a guest post that Betsy Potash (@BetsyPotash) did for Cult of Pedagogy called, “Hexagonal Thinking: A Colorful Tool for Discussion.” In her detailed post, Betsy explains how you can use Google Slides templates as well as tools like Flipgrid to facilitate group discussions and analysis with Hexagonal Thinking. She also provides a link to get your own free Digital Hexagonal Thinking Toolkit, as well as a video explaining how to make them.

Building on Betsy’s ideas, I created a simple Google Slides activity that uses images instead of text inside the hexagons. The example I did used symbols from Tuck Everlasting, but you can follow the instructions for changing the images to for your own unit theme. (For more ideas to use with Tuck Everlasting, click here.)

Click here to get a copy of this Google Slides template with instructions for changing the images.

Since many of you may be using this activity in a virtual breakout room, I urge you to take a look at this post for some pedagogical tips on incorporating breakout rooms with distance learning (if you have not introduced these to students yet). Also, here are some more interactive Google Slides activities in case you missed them.

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