Impact in the Intermediate Classroom by Jennifer Hauck

Impact:  Questioning, Discussion, and Assessment Using Six Thinking Hats®

Jennifer Hauck
Graduate, Professional Studies in Education
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Grade Level: 5th Grade Reading, Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and 4th Grade Social Studies.

  1. What is the impact of Six Thinking Hats® on your ability to ask questions using different modes of thinking?  Please give details.

The Six Thinking Hats® allowed me to categorize the types of higher level thinking questions and activities that I could do with my students. The Six Thinking Hats® made it easier to remember critical thinking questions because I could associate the type of higher level thinking question with a hat color. For example: White Hat = paper or plain facts that you could read, Red Hat = fire or strong emotions to the information, Black Hat = danger or what should you be cautious or careful about, Yellow Hat = happy/positive thoughts or why is this good, Green Hat = growing grass or new creations, and Blue Hat = bringing it all together or show what you know by going into the story/information. To me, the Six Thinking Hats® questions are like an iceberg. The white hat questions are the tip of the iceberg, the very basic facts that we see. The red, black, yellow, green, and blue questions are the portion of the iceberg that is underwater. These questions are beyond what we can see and understand at their most trivial levels and are extremely important.

  1. What is the impact of Six Thinking Hats® as a tool understood by your students to empower them to ask questions during discussions and readings?  Please explain and give examples of student generated questions.

In my 5th Grade classroom, I gave my students a copy of the Six Thinking Hats® (See attachment). First, I had the students color in each of the color coded hat rows. Second, I reviewed with the students the information in each of the Six Thinking Hats® rows and gave examples of questions that would fall into each category. Third, I allowed the students to create their own Six Thinking Hats® questions, using the hand out, after introducing new subject material. The students wrote down three questions on three different index cards and also had to identify the color of the questions. The only stipulation with the questions was that the students could only use one white hat question since it is lower thinking level. Fourth, the students asked each other his/her own Six Thinking Hats® questions in class. The students answered each others questions and identified the color of the Six Thinking Hats®. Fifth, I collected the students’ questions and created a student made test using them. The students felt empowered because they contributed to the questioning in class and created the questions for a formal assessment. (See attached test and scores table)

  1. Compare and contrast assessments that you use from the text to those that you create using Six Thinking Hats®.  Detail this using a table for a test from your text and one that you created using Six Hats to show the types of questions in each.

The tests that I created with the Six Thinking Hats® using my own questions and questions designed by the students made a greater impact on the students testing. The students were able to answer more meaningful questions that focused on the objectives of the lesson, rather than questions that focused on minuet facts like the tests from the text did. In addition, the tests from the textbook were all multiple choice questions. The Six Thinking Hats® tests were predominately open ended questions that allowed the students to give their answers as well as a factual reason for their answer. See the table below for question examples form the textbook test and the Six Thinking Hats® test.

Test Questions:  Textbook Test and Six Thinking Hats® Assessment

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The Six Thinking Hats® Student Hand Out

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4th Grade Teacher Made Six Thinking Hats® Based Assessment

Name: ______________________________ Date: ____________________

Unit 1: Chapter 2 – Lesson 5

Directions: Write the correct definition on the line below.

1. _______________ is a harbor, or a place where ships can load and unload cargo and be safe from storms. (1 point)

2. ____________________ is a piece of land almost completely surrounded by water, or extending far out into the water. (1 point)

Directions: Circle the letter next to the correct answer. Make sure to read the whole question and all of the possible answers before answering! (1 point each)

3. What is the main physical feature of the Erie Lowland?

A. low flat land
B. plateaus
C. ridges
D. valleys

4. Where in Pennsylvania is the Erie Lowland region located?

A. central Pennsylvania
B. northwestern corner
C. southeastern corner
D. south of Pittsburgh

Directions: Write your answer in complete sentences on the lines provided below. Remember to support your answer with facts.

5. What are the benefits of the Erie Lowland for farming? (1 point)

6. Why is Port Erie an excellent transportation center? (1 point)

7. Do you think that Port Erie would be a good port without the Presque Isle? Why or why not? (1 point)

8. Would you want to vacation at Lake Erie? Support your answer with at least two details about the Erie Lowland Region.

BONUS: Draw a face in the space below to show how you think you did on the quiz. (1 point)

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5th Grade Student Made Six Thinking Hats® Based Assessment

Name: ________________________________ Date: __________________

Unit 1: Chapter 1 – Lesson 2 Student Made Test

Directions: Circle the letter next to the correct answer. Make sure to read the whole question and all of the answers before answering!

1. “I felt the rock under my feet. I glanced down at the perilous drop.” Who could have said this? (1 point)

A. An Anasazi
B. A Caribbean Islander
C. An Inuit
D. A Mound Builder

2. What would be one of the risks of living in the Inuit tribe? (1 point)

A. You could have a heat stroke.
B. You could fall off a cliff.
C. You could freeze to death.
D. The mounds could cave in.

3. Which tribe lived in what is now Canada? (1 point)

A. Anasazi
B. Inuit
C. Linden Lions
D. Mound Builders

Directions: Write your answers to the following questions on the lines below. Make sure that you write you answers in complete sentences AND support them with facts. Questions that are not supported by facts will NOT receive full credit.

4. What if Nampeyo never started the Native American pottery again? What would happen? (1 point)

5. Imagine that the Mound Builders did not build mounds. (Remember the people used the mounds for various reasons.) What would they build in their place and what would they be used for? (2 points)

6. If a Mound Builder and an Inuit met, how do you think they would get along? Why? (2 points)

7. What if the Anasazi had never used irrigation? What would happen and why? (2 point)

8. What would you be cautious about if you were an Anasazi? Why? (2 points)

9. Explain what would you like or dislike about living with the Inuits? (1 point)

Bonus: Draw a picture below to show how you think you did on this quiz.

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4th and 5th Grade Six Thinking Hats® Assessment

5th Grade Student Made Six Thinking Hats® Based Assessment

A100-90% B89-80% C79-70% D69-60% E59-0%
# of Students who scored 15 2 3 2 0

4th Grade Teacher Made Six Thinking Hats® Based Assessment

A100-90% B89-80% C79-70% D69-60% E59-0%
# of Students who scored 10 6 1 2 4

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Motivating Workshops

Student-Tested, Student-Centered, Energizing, Hands On, Research Based