Meeting the Middle School

“Put on your thinking hat!” 

These words are often heard in our Middle School Kulam Language Arts classes. The classroom is alive with thinking. After all, thinking is a life skill and a learning tool for listening, speaking, reading and writing. In our classes, we teach the students about de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats and how to use them to bring clarity to their reading, looking in one direction at a time. it is based on a simple metaphor in that hats are easy to put on and to take off. Each hat is a different color which signals a different kind of thinking or focus. Simply, the colors of the hats indicate as follows:

White hat – Facts (information and data)DeBono 6 hats photo

Red hat – Feelings (intuition and gut feeling)

Yellow hat – Benefits (positives, logic)

Purple (sometimes green) hat – Creativity (ideas and possibilities)

Black hat – Cautions (risks, dangers, difficulties)

Blue hat – Process (thinking about thinking; action plan)

This strategy allows the teachers and students to look more in-depth at a novel or a historical document or even a website or on-line article in a less overwhelming way. It guides the discussion of text while encouraging documented points of view or perspective. By focusing on an area at a time, the students are able to demonstrate increased understanding.  One of 7th Graders, Shiri, created a visual for the classroom.