Dr. Edward De Bono
Edward De Bono is a world-known expert in
creative thinking. The 6 Thinking Hats is one
The main idea is to have the group only “wear
one hat at a time” when considering a problem.
The wearing of the hat is metaphorical. At any
one time, everyone will wear the same colour,
in other words, look at the problem at hand
from only one perspective, the perspective
indicated by the hat colour.
Yellow Hat Activity
In small groups of 3:
(Group Roles, Graphic Organisers)
What are the good points of being tall?
Black Hat Activity
In small groups of 3:
Look at the All-Weather Bike. Read the
and write what you think might be wrong
with the design. Identify the weaknesses
in this new kind of bicycle.
Red Hat Activity
Listen to this piece of music. Write down
how this piece of music makes you feel?
White Hat Activity
Small groups of 3:
Look at the box and pretend that some
one has bought you a pet. It is inside
the box. Write down all of the facts you
would like to know about this pet? Write
all you questions in the space below.
Green Hat Activity
Go back to the All-Weather Bike.
We have looked at all the weaknesses of
this new type of bike. Now go back and
look at how we can overcome these
weaknesses? Do you have any better
ideas for an all weather bike?
Draw or write your explanations on the
back of the All-weather bike sheet.
The Unique Blue Hat
The blue hat is different from the other hats because it is
involved with directing the thinking process itself. We are
actually using the blue hat whenever we suggest the next hat
to be used.
The blue hat need not be acknowledged at every turn
however there are some points which it is often helpful i.e.,
1. At the outset of a discussion – Lets decide what we want to
think about and which hats we will use?
2. At a midpoint to restate the thinking goal – I think we are
getting away from what we wanted to talk about. Can
someone recall what we decided to talk about?
3. At the end to summarise what thinking has been done –
Think of a sentence that tells about what we have been doing
Blue Hat Activity
In a small group of 3:
Complete the thinking steps map for
FOX IN A FIX.
Single Hat and Sequence Use
The hats can be used singly at any point in
thinking. In general, this is the major use.
The hats are used as a convenience for
directing thinking and for switching thinking.
Simple sequences of two or three hats may
be used together for a particular purpose.
For example, the yellow hat followed by the
black hat may be used to assess an idea.
The black hat followed by the green hat
may be used to improve a design. (All Weather bike)
Term Strategy Student learning outcome.
1 Six Thinking Hats
(one at a time)
Explain the thinking for each hat
Practice orally the appropriate thinking for each hat
Give example of the hats i.e. yellow hat ideas etc
2 Hat sequence
Explain the evaluation sequence
Employ yellow hat and black hat thinking
3 Hat Sequence
Explain the caution sequence
Effectively employ black hat and white hat thinking
4 Hat Sequence
Explain the design sequence
Effectively employ blue, green hat and red hat thinking.
To discover the positive aspects and
negative aspects of an idea. You use the
yellow hat before the black hat.
You could follow up with the green hat
(new ideas) and red hat (feelings) thinking.
Examples: Consider positive and negative
Not doing homework one night.
Swapping toys with friends.
Looking critically at situations. You are first
considering facts with the white hat.
Then use the black hat to discover difficulties.
This can be followed up with some blue hat or
red hat thinking.
Examples: consider the consequences
Throwing most of your lunch in the bin everyday.
Not letting someone know where you are going.
Encourage students to create new ideas,
products or improvements to existing
designs. Use the blue, green and red hats.
Example: use design sequence to create
A better toothbrush
Alternatives to homework.
Red + White
Comparing fact and opinion
Black + Yellow + Green
Comparing and synthesising (coming up
with new ideas from the known)
White + Blue
What do we know (facts) and where are
we going (planning)
Here are some graphic organiser templates to get you started:
Freeology Graphic Organisers
Graphic Organiser Library
Web English Teacher