Since I’ve been doing a few Hexagonal Thinking workshops lately and April is National Poetry month here in the United States, I thought that I would see if any teachers have suggestions for how Hexagonal Thinking could be used to analyze and write poetry. I found this post on Teach Living Poets where the author describes how her students used Hexagonal Thinking to make connections between 15 poems that they had been assigned to read.
Though this idea is not specifically about poetry, I like this TikTok from Emily Pool (@toopoolforschool), where she explains how each student grabs a hexagon as they enter the classroom and puts it on the whiteboard at the front of the room, explaining any connections that they make. This is not only incentive to get to class early if you are an introvert, but also a fun retrieval practice idea. Place words on the hexagons from a poem you’ve been reading or titles of several poems to see what relationships the students perceive.
How could we use Hexagonal Thinking to write poetry? Of course, Hexagonal Thinking can be used for brainstorming. You could give small groups of students a set of 8-10 blank hexagons, and have them brainstorm a word for each one on a theme, such as “things that grow” or “things you do in Spring”. Download my free Spring S.C.A.M.P.E.R. packet for more Spring Brainstorming ideas. Then ask the group to connect the hexagons discussing commonalities they share besides the original theme. You can either challenge them to write a group poem then, or assign them to choose three words that were connected to write their own individual poems. If the students need a bit of help, they can try this AI powered poetry creator from Google, Verse by Verse.
Another idea might be to “find” some words in a piece of literature you have been reading to add to the hexagons, and then create a poem from the connected “found words,” similar to the idea in this post.
Perhaps you provide them with the connections, and students are challenged to write poetry that hops from hexagon to one that adjoins it, going in any direction they choose but with a specified minimum of “hops.” In the image below, for example, the student would be given the triangle with words, and choose four that are connected to consider metaphorically. They can brainstorm in the spaces underneath, then write their poem.
Or, students create an actual poem within the hexagons. There are so many ways to use Hexagonal Thinking. Do you have any suggestions?
Interested in learning more about Hexagonal Thinking? I provide workshops in several formats. Work at your own pace with my online course, or invite me to present virtually or face to face to your district or group!