Why Do You Need Hexagonal Thinking in the Classrooms?

13 min read
Why Do You Need Hexagonal Thinking in the Classrooms?

Back to school? Don’t be afraid if your students are not participating actively in the classroom. Returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic is tough. Children are overwhelmed by the sudden flow of academic pressure, trauma, and change of routine. We have no idea what they have been going through during this time.

But there is a way to engage with them – try hexagonal thinking. After its inevitable success in the corporate world, hexagonal thinking is all set to put its foot in the educational sector for good.

So, hexagonal thinking can pull your students out from the non-talkative, awkward zone to the critical thinking, creative zone.

hexagonal thinking can pull your students out from the non-talkative

It is a refreshing way to discuss important topics in a classroom. Hexagonal thinking is not only for your physical classroom but for online classes too.

What is Hexagonal Thinking?

Hexagonal thinking is implemented like this: you have a few hexagons with different concepts written on them. You give those cards to each child. Each child gets similar cards. Then, you ask them to move those cards around and connect them in a way that makes sense – like a web of ideas interconnected to each other.

After that, you will ask each student to explain why they connected the hexagon the way they did. You will observe that each child would connect the cards differently. Moreover, each child would develop a different reason for doing so.

What is Hexagonal Thinking

How does Hexagonal Thinking Help?

Hexagonal thinking is a great way to instill critical thinking in students. It encourages them to find solutions to problems too. Above everything, hexagonal thinking can break the silence in your classroom. Here are some other ways why you should try hexagonal thinking in your classroom:

Talk, talk, talk!

If your students aren’t talkative or shy, hexagonal thinking will encourage them to participate in group discussions. Be open to their ideas and listen to them. It will make them comfortable too.

Also, hearing what other students think about the same subject can help shape their perspective. It is a great way to begin a healthy discussion in your classrooms.

Know their Minds!

If you use hexagonal thinking cleverly, you can know your student’s state of mind in a better way. For example, if you write concepts about the COVID-19 pandemic, you might get a chance to know how it shaped their lives without letting them know about it.

Solving Problems

Hexagonal thinking has its way of breaking big problems into smaller parts. For example, if you want to discuss coping with a big problem like climate change, a very interesting conversation might come out of it.

A climate change discussion is always important to educate students of our negligence and require necessary actions to save the earth. With hexagonal thinking, you can do it the easier way.

Cross-curricular Integration

If you are looking for a fun way to integrate physics discussion with mathematics, hexagonal thinking is a good way to do it. Not only that, you can connect two different subjects.

Cross-curricular Integration

How to Use Hexagonal Thinking to Deepen Discussions Between Children?

Some small geometrical shapes can achieve big things in your classroom discussion. The process is simple! Let’s dive deep into the process for both online and physical classrooms.

 

Hexagonal Thinking for Physical Classrooms

Classrooms are the best place to learn new things! Let’s see how we can use hexagonal thinking in classrooms to engage with the students.

Creating the Hexagons

  • You will need some colored paper. Consider ten pieces of paper for each student.
  • Look for ideas – for example: “War and displacement.”
  • Now write key terms related to war and displacement, such as “refugees,” “cold war,” “UN,” etc.
  • Remember that you must leave two/three papers blank and ask students to write their key terms.
  • Also, use some papers to design arrows for your students to indicate what connects what and where.
  • Let the discussion begin.

Once you have prepared everything, you are free to decide whether you’ll be conducting this discussion for individuals or assigning groups. Whatever it is, explain the strategy to your students and begin working!

The best way to explain the kids is to connect these hexagons until they are fully confident about the connections and their nuances. Once they have completed the web, ask them to put the arrows to each group. These arrows will make it easier for them to explain the connection.

After the work is done, ask students to describe the web. You can ask them to describe them loudly to build their confidence. Always tell your students that their ideas can differ from each other, and it is perfectly normal.

After the work is done, ask students to describe the web.

Hexagonal Thinking for Online Classrooms

Digital classes have different vibes. Students are not physically connected. Getting their attention could be tough. Let’s see how you can make the best of an online hexagonal thinking session.

  • Building blocks: The process remains the same. Find an idea, generate key terms, and create blocks. You can get the blocks online as there are many hexagon generators available. Do the same. Keep a few blocks empty, and other blocks would contain the key terms related to the idea or connected to it. You can also use Google Slides or PowerPoint to create these blocks digitally. You can also create arrows to represent the key intersections in their web.
  • Discussing hexagonal thinking online: Once you have given all the necessary instructions to your children, they have come up with the web. You can either conduct the discussion on a video call or ask them to explain the connections on a Google doc and give access to you.

You have to be careful with the online session. Ask questions, listen to their ideas, and you can also ask them to ask questions from other participants.

You have to be careful with the online session

Why Should You Try Hexagonal Thinking?

Hexagonal thinking has many benefits. From offices to schools, more and more people are using their way to know each other better. Consider this a mind map! There are many reasons you should introduce this cool strategy to your students.

Is it Complex?

Hexagonal thinking is the best way to open new discussion doors with your students without relocating them.

We All Need Tolerance!

Hexagonal thinking is a great way to activate empathy in your students. When you assign groups with different minds, you teach them to coexist with a different mindset. This makes them better people and teaches tolerance. Imagine a world where every child is empathetic and tolerant.

We All Need Tolerance

Discuss New Ideas

When everyone discusses one topic with different opinions, it opens doors to new ideas. While some children consider reducing carbon emission solutions, who knows a child might come up with a better solution?

The shape of the hexagon is generally welcoming; it can welcome and connect six different ideas. Unlike squares or circles, hexagons are open for more than four connections.

Discuss Difficult Topics

The only reason why the corporate world implemented hexagonal thinking was to make big difficult problems digestible. You can do the same in schools. Small blocks can find small solutions to big problems. And even if you cannot find proper solutions to a big problem, hexagonal thinking allows you to discuss it.

Build Acquaintances

When four students get together to discuss one topic, it will automatically bring them closer. They might agree or disagree with each other. The better thing is that they can find new connections due to hexagonal thinking.

Discuss Diverse Topics

Where field trips are connected to one or two specific topics, hexagonal thinking allows us to discuss different content with each age group. It has a very interesting way of making conversation intriguing in all age groups with different mindsets and subjects.

Builds Communication Skills

In hexagonal thinking sessions, your teacher asks you to explain your actions. When you explain your actions, it not only builds your confidence but also polishes your communication skills. The idea allows a child to learn to communicate their ideas in easy words.

Nurtures the Mindset

The act of placing an idea and writing about it not only helps with critical thinking but also engages with the creative part of your brain. So, hexagonal thinking is good for building communication skills and helps with metacognition!

Altering the Lifestyle

When you show the children a way of breaking down big problems into small solutions, you tell them they can do it in real life. We cannot imagine the impact of this learning on their minds.

Altering the Lifestyle

Hexagonal thinking might stay with some students and help them make big decisions without messing up their lives. It has so many benefits that it becomes impossible not to try it in the classrooms. You can discuss many ideas with your students inside your classroom without making them uncomfortable. It could be a particular event, people, places, facts, ideas, and whatnot.

 

Different Ways to Incorporate Hexagonal Thinking

There are many ways to incorporate hexagon and thinking with your children, students, and even with yourself.

Formal Assessment

Informal assessment, you make hexagons to create a big picture and connect them with arrows. You can use a person’s name, write an idea, discuss some historical event or a place, and even discuss some fictional characters. This type of assessment is great for general knowledge, literature, history, or geography classes.

General Hexagons

You can use hexagonal blocks as a center where students can learn different words. For example, many institutes use hexagonal thinking to teach young students different words starting from TH, SH, WH, etc. Many online hexagonal thinking cards consist of poetry and its connection.

Enhance their Memory

You can also use hexagonal thinking to enhance your students’ memory. A great way to assess your students’ prior knowledge of the subject is to ask them to create a hexagonal web topic-wise and discuss everything they remember.

Brainstorming for a Quiz or Speech

If your school is holding a fun competition, don’t forget to use hexagonal thinking here. You can discuss ideas regarding the speech with your students and put them together to achieve an outstanding result. It would be very helpful for quizzes and stuff. Those arrows can help your students big time!

Dive Deep into a Book

A great way to use hexagonal thinking is while discussing a good fictional or non-fictional book. You can write a few key terms and ask your students to connect them and describe the reason. This is how they will always remember the book!

For example, you can ask students to assess the main components of Harry Potter. You would be surprised to learn that some of the children feel Professor Snape was the best character, not Professor Dumbledore.

Hexagonal thinking can help you make classes memorable and engaging. Just keep the class discussions under control. It enables critical thinking capabilities, enhances students’ relationships, and does a wonderful job healthily breaking the silence.

It is a great practice to know more about your students. You can encourage your students to show their creative side and embrace it with this activity!

It is a great practice to know more about your students

The possibilities of using hexagonal thinking in your classrooms are limitless. You can use it to build all the good characters in your students without putting pressure on them. Remember to make them feel comfortable sharing their ideas and build trust.