(Based on an idea from AM Hodgson. (1992). Hexagons for systems thinking.European Journal of Systems Dynamics 59 (1): 220-30.)
SOLO hexagons is a great way to introduce students of all ages to SOLO as a model of learning outcomes - loose ideas are important - connecting them in different ways makes them more interesting and shows more complex understanding. Sitting outside the clusters and asking - what is it all about? leads to conceptual understanding, big picture thinking and insight.
SOLO hexagons can be used to determine a student's depth of prior knowledge and understanding before starting to learn. It can also be used as a learning experience prompt to increase and deepen understanding, and to create new understanding by introducing hexagons with additional content - ideas, symbols, images etc.
In this strategy for generating and connecting ideas, the students work in collaborative groups. They:brainstorm everything they know about a given topic (presented as a focus question),such as a text, setting, structure, character, poem, text etc. record each idea or thought on a separate blank hexagon. arrange the hexagons by tessellating the hexagons.
The outcome differs according to the SOLO level:
- in a multistructural outcome students can describe the individual hexagons
- in a relational outcome where students can make straight edge connections between simple hexagon sequences and can tessellate the hexagons (making connections) - students can explain why they have linked the ideas together in this way (talk or annotate).
in an extended abstract outcome students can explore the node where three hexagons share a corner (or simply look at a cluster of hexagons)and make a generalisation about the nature of the relationship between the ideas.
HookED SOLO Hexagon Generator
Download Blank SOLO Hexagon Templates
Download Sample SOLO Hexagon Templates
Purchase and download SOLO Hexagon Poster
SOLO Hexagon Poster HookED store
SOLO Reverse Hexagons
The SOLO Hexagons process can be usefully reversed in a "what's the connection" thinking strategy.
Strategy 1 – ask students to add annotations to an existing tessellation
Strategy 2 - ask students to choose hexagons to fit a blank tessellation template with existing annotations. (more challenging) – For an example of this strategy used in maths see below
Strategy 3 - ask students to make up their own SOLO Reverse Hexagons template
Note: The Moldiv app recommended by Jivespin blog is great for creating templates for images.
Figure 5.10: End of unit fraction sum up activity sheet page 40 in Hook, Gravett, Howard and John (2014)SOLO Taxonomy in Mathematics. Strategies for thinking like a mathematician
SOLO Concentric Hexagons
Also known as SOLO Connectagons
Useful for making connections between deeply explored ideas and concepts.
SOLO Hexagons Examples
SOLO Hexagon Example from Bridget Casse's class at Halsey Drive School Auckland NZ Concentic Hexagon example from Mrs R Wood - Science Teacher (UK) Twitter @MrsRWood