Teaching Writing – Perspectives
This lesson teaches ESL students a new thinking skill. It shows students how to look at an idea, issue or object from many perspectives. Knowing how to appreciate something from a different angle helps students become better writers and thinkers.
Teach English Writing with Six Thinking Hats
This lesson is based on the Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono. There are six hats. Each hat represents a different way of looking at something:
- White Hat: Facts.
- Red Hat: Emotion and opinions.
- Yellow Hat: Good points. What you like about it?
- Black Hat: Bad points. Mistakes you can find.
- Green Hat: Creativity. What if was another way?
- Blue Hat: Conclusions. The main idea.
Why Teach the Six Hats?
The lesson introduces new vocabulary and sentence patterns which help ESL students express a multitude of ideas, from facts to emotions to conditionals. All of these communication skills can enrich both written text and oral communication. For students at the intermediate level and up, these skills are the backbone of higher order thinking (e.g. evaluation and analysis).
- Teach students the six hats.
- Show the candy picture (pdf file).
- Ask students to write one or two sentences under each hat about the candy.
- Write samples on board.
- Compare with suggested answers on the pdf.
- For early finishers, asks students to compile their sentences into 1-3 paragraphs demonstrating an argument and conclusion.
This lesson with a candy picture can be extended in a number of ways. Ask students to take the six hat framework and apply it to any topical issue (e.g. a candidate in an election), general concept (e.g. democracy, censorship, etc) or a simple word in the textbook (e.g. ski instructor).
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The image in this post comes from Lee Thatcher and its use complies with the owner’s creative commons licensing terms.