Hexagonal thinking is a rich new way to inspire discussion. Now, if you’re choose me, high school geometry was about as appealing as high college cafeteria beef stroganoff, and you’re not as well sure about this whole math-English crossover thing.

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Don’t give up! Hexagonal reasoning is a really unique way to get youngsters thinking about connections they could never otherwise make.

When girlfriend give children a collection of concepts on hexagons, and also ask them to attach the cards right into a web with clear factors for every connection, you get them thinking critically, debating, providing evidence, and basically, lighting increase a whole bunch of parts of their brains. Each card could connect to 6 others, or simply to one or two. Every human being in every team will have a different principle of how things might connect. There will be no best answer.


(Psssst…. I’m popping earlier into this post to permit you understand I’ve just produced a free digital hexagonal thinking toolkit for you, to do it easy to put this fabulous strategy into place this year no issue whether you’re online, in person, or a hybrid the both). You’ll discover easy college student instructions, examples, and three beautiful digital templates inside. Subscribe to mine weekly emails below and this kit will certainly be the very first thing ns send you!)

So, you might ask, how will i manufacture dozens the hexagons? how will ns grade such an faint process? What precisely will i tell mine students to accumulate them to do a good job? What sort of conversation is this a good fit for? How big do the hexagons need to be? will certainly I need some type of special paper or hole punch?

Well, my friend, I’ve got a many answers for you. I’ve been obsessed v brainstorming means to do hexagonal thinking job-related for girlfriend lately, and also I’ve compiled every little thing I’ve come up with into this post, i beg your pardon I’m boldly specify name my ultimate overview to hexagonal reasoning in ELA. Ns hope it’s helpful.

Read on because that the complete post, or listen on the podcast player listed below or onApple Podcasts,Blubrry, Spotify, orStitcher.

Let’s kick points off v a quick introductory video. Pardon me for my shaky selfie job-related on the intro – let’s simply say when your four-year-old has actually the stomach flu, you’ve just obtained to carry out what girlfriend can. I’m certain you understand.

Hexagonal Thinking: straightforward Play-by-Play

To execute a hexagonal reasoning activity, you require to have a collection of hexagon-shaped cards featuring ideas. Let’s say you were doing a discussion of 1984. Your cards might have personalities from the novel, a few bits and also pieces around George Orwell’s life, some relations to the arts and background of the era, and some connections to things going top top today. You might create this cards, or you might give empty hexagons to your students in groups and let them create them.

I suggest you give empty pages of cards to each group (here space the ones i designed) and also have castle create and cut the end their own hexagons in ~ the category you’ve given. Therefore each group will create five or so hexagons in every category and also cut them out. You could want come ask castle to include a quotation and/or illustration or other kind of illumination to go with the word(s) they put on every card.


Once the students have their hexagons, they need to start discussing just how to connect them.

Here’s an instance of directions you can offer to her students at this point:

“Once you have actually your set of hexagons, that time for your team to start making connections between them. Your conversations currently will be about showing how and also why girlfriend think the different concepts and choices connect. Everyone will see points differently, and that’s OK. Just keep talking till you discover the relations that stick. Usage the text to give evidence to each other for why girlfriend think your relations are solid ones.

Each hexagon can affix to up to six others. Arrange and rearrange till you feeling you have actually the strongest hexagon web in place that friend can. Then begin explaining your relations with connection arrows, composing in why girlfriend have produced intersections between an essential hexagons.

Everyone in the group will add differently. You should have world listening and also moving pieces to produce the web, world cutting out and also filling in connection arrows, world debating, people asking questions. That’s OK.

By the finish of her discussion, friend should have an interconnected net of concepts along with at the very least eight clearly explained connections. Please placed your final product in a location that’s simple for others to check out so we can do a gallery walk in ~ the end.”


Now it’s time for her students come work. As they develop their webs, walk around and also observe and help. Remind them to skinny on text.

When the work-related is done, snap a picture of every group’s web. Let everyone circulate. Perhaps ask each team to share number of of their many intriguing connections. You might use this together a springboard to a writing task or a class discussion the next day.

*This task hits nearly every aspect in the 6-12 common Core College and Career Readiness Anchor standards for Speaking and also Listening. (Check out p. 48 below if you need this documentation).

More ideas for Generating Hexagons

Of course, you may want to try some other options for creating hexagons. Numerous educators have recommended the Solo Hexagon virtual Generator come me, which permits you come input your crucial ideas quickly and also populate set of hexagons for fast printing.

Another alternative is come laminate hexagons, turning them right into mini dried erase boards. If it’s a bit of work-related up former to cut them out, you have the right to then use them transparent the year through dry erase markers, simply wiping lock clean at the end.

You can uncover five pages of empty rainbow hexagons accessible as a cost-free download below in mine TPT shop. Just print, laminate, and also cut out. Have actually students assist you wipe the hexagons clean after ~ a discussion (don’t wait!). A tiny cleaner will make it straightforward if friend wait as well long.




It doesn’t issue a entirety lot how large your hexagons or, or what shade they are, or if you reduced them the end or your students reduced them out. In the end, it’s the capacity to change them around and also connect principles in various ways that will matter. So whether you make your own sets, you have actually students do them, or you perform some of both, girlfriend can’t go wrong. If you desire a unique hexagonal paper puncher, usage your 50% turn off Michael’s coupon on it! If you want to produce an digital version and also save paper, awesome! If you desire to print with beautiful colour on cardstock, i hear you! simply don’t spend hours of her weekend cutting and also creating uneven you really want to, since you can gain lots of aid with the procedure from her students.Grading Hexagonal Thinking

There space a few ways you might grade hexagonal thinking. You can have everyone write a quick reflection at the end around their contributions, and also grade that. You could use it as a springboard into a creating assignment, questioning students to explain and argue for key connections native the discussion, climate grade that. You could have students present around a an essential connection ~ above Flipgrid. Easy.

But I want to indicate a contempt more complex option too. Recently I interviewed sarah Fine, a researcher who studied deeper learning throughout America. One of her findings was the we seldom ask student to important collaborate in our core subjects, so us don’t really develop a society of interdependence amongst them. They don’t acquire to usage their individual presents to contribute to a final product developed by the team, although the is frequently what real-world projects look like. Instead, us favor what she calls “lockstep learning.”

So possibly for hexagonal thinking, girlfriend grade the last group web. And also you talk to the kids around how their different strengths could enable them to contribute to the last product.

Maybe some kids are supervisor brainstormers, coming up v lots of an excellent terms and also ideas because that what to put on the hexagons. Perhaps one or two students in the team are an excellent at lettering and drawing. They could create beautiful visual depictions of the terms and ideas. Possibly some students shine at top discussion. Perhaps some are herbal at making spatial and also visual connections, and also can aid move the hexagons about as they hear to the group. Possibly some are excellent listeners, and also can be filling in and also placing link arrows based upon what they here from others. Perhaps some are an excellent mediators, who can aid find typical ground and also calm down heated discussions when discussion gets intense.

If you walk this route, i really think it’s worth mentioning in breakthrough what job teams are choose in the workplace, and also how people contribute in various ways. Then, at the end, you might let kids write a quick paragraph around how they contributed based upon their own strengths and skills, and whether they were happy with the way the group dynamics rotate out.

Hexagonal Thinking discussion Ideas

There room so many ways to use hexagonal thinking! ns imagine you could use this for nearly any type of discussion, throughout many disciplines, yet here are a few ideas for your English classes.

At the finish of a novel, use hexagonal thinking to uncover connections between vital characters, themes, symbols, associated ideas from background and art, and current events.

Before analysis a novel (or series of poems or short stories), usage hexagonal reasoning to discover connections in between ideas that will be coming up and also things walk on now to aid students begin to prepare because that what they will read and also sharpen their interest.

After watching a Ted Talk, take it the an essential concepts and stories/examples from the talk and put lock on cards together with related examples and also themes from functions you have read.

Collaborate v a partner in one more department to connect ideas native what your students are learning in English come what castle are finding out in art, history, or science.

Before writing a paper, questioning students to put crucial ideas, examples, and argument possibilities onto their very own cards, then develop a associated web together a prewriting exercise. For visual children who like to tinker and also build, this might be really helpful, a kind of offshoot the the writing makerspace concept.

The possibilities space pretty endless, as I think you’ll see as soon as you get going through hexagonal thinking. Below, you’ll see part of a hexagonal web connecting a student-friendly variation of the ELA requirements to an abilities they will need in various careers, perfect to placed up on the wall surface to aid students psychic the context because that what they room learning and also why lock are learning it.

Hexagonal One-Pagers

One means to include depth to the hexagonal thinking activity is come layer a bit more into the hexagons themselves. Basic text works, yet as i mentioned, you can likewise ask college student to include a quotation or a drawing, or use amazing lettering to carry out the definition and do the word much more memorable on the card.

You can take the a step more by having actually students develop hexagonal one-pagers. Through this activity, the production of the hexagons takes a bit longer. You divide students right into work groups, and also give each team a classification of species of points you want covered. For example, characters, themes, format elements, connections to current events. Climate you questioning them come come up with a list of aspects for their group, and also each choose one come make into a hexagon-shaped one-pager.

You can either provide them a list of aspects that you’d like in the one-pager (quotations, analysis in their very own words, imagery, etc.) or permit them come up through their own list of what would make a great one-pager. How details you gain probably counts on how acquainted your students are with one-pagers as a concept.

These hexagonal one-pagers cover the novel, every the method Down, through Jason Reynolds. The left hexagon portrays a layout element, the middle one is a character, and also the ideal is about a theme. The link arrows come last, as in any type of hexagonal one-pager activity. (By the way, connection arrows could additionally be post-its, or if friend tape the hexagons come a chalkboard or whiteboard, they can be written best onto the surface).

These mini-hexagons sheathe the novel, The Outsiders. The left consists a crucial symbol, the optimal right is a character, and also the bottom right is a link to contemporary life.

I’ve produced templates in two sizes and also instructions for the hexagonal one-pager task over on TPT.Or friend can create your very own using the shapes tool in Powerpoint.

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One of my favourite things around hexagonal one-pagers is just how striking the final display looks. Consider having your classes put their final products up top top your wall surface for your last gallery walk, and leaving lock up for a while.