The Thinking Hats

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From Edward de Bono, the Thinking Hats give students six specific ways to think when they're working with others.

The Six Hats are:

  1. facts
  2. emotions
  3. optimism
  4. caution
  5. creativity
  6. organization

Only one mode is allowed at a time, so if the group is being "creative," no one is allowed to be "cautious" - everyone wears the same hat at the same time. This keeps everyone working in the same style. Then, later, the group can all switch to purposefully be "negative." You certainly don't need to use all six every time, but the Thinking Hats can help your students' small group and whole group discussions stay on the same track.


  1. First, we intro the idea.
  2. Then we explain "facts" and "emotions."
  3. Then we explain "optimism" and "caution."
  4. Finally, we explain "creativity" and "organization."


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