“Making mental connections is our most crucial learning tool, the essence of human intelligence; to forge links; to go beyond the given; to see patterns, relationships, context.” — Marilyn Ferguson
P2 learners are exploring and inquiring into journeys in the current unit of ‘Where We Are in Place and Time’. Our research into the different countries around the world is enabling a deeper dive into the lines of inquiry and central idea of the unit.
By applying research skills and self-management skills, each learner chose a different country to further inquire [HS1] into and use nonfiction texts to collect relevant data and information. To transfer their inquiry and research, learners made use of ‘Hexagonal Thinking’, an innovative visible thinking routine that is built on the very essence of Inquiry – Making Connections! Learners began by writing the name of the country on a paper hexagon, and then used each of the six sides to align cutout hexagons that represented topics such as location, climate, food, dress, language, attractions, etc. This enabled learners to progress from the central idea – the country, to the connecting ideas – its features, to build a honeycomb structure!
Skimming and scanning through the texts and logging on to the web portal Kiddle, learners derived relevant information for each sub-topic, and added hexagons containing the details to the grid. Each new hexagon represented a new learning experience, and each time learners linked similar hexagons, it displayed the ability of the learners to build meaning and make stronger connections.
The class was also encouraged to review their hexagonal thinking and look for more connections between the features by tracing lines and arrows. For instance, the links between location and food consumed were made. This activity was an excellent opportunity to facilitate creative thinking, metacognition and a thorough understanding of organizing ideas to construct meaning. Furthermore, learners had a quick country hunt to find connections between two countries and track their understanding visually. An engaging practice, the class successfully documented evidence of their learning and reflections!!
This honeycomb structured learning engagement laid the foundation of more complex visible thinking routines for our young learners, empowering them to explore innovative learning practices!