I showed the students a short film called "Sweet Cocoon". I love using short films because they are generally between 2-8 min long, perfect for short attention spans, and they tell wonderful stories that all readers can understand. When I want to introduce a story element, reteach a literary device, or have students of varying reading levels discuss these topics-short films are my go to. In this case, using a short film was helpful because this thinking strategy was new.
In this particular film, a caterpillar is too fat to squeeze into her cocoon. She gets some help from a couple of bugs that are passing by that notice her struggling. The bugs have several ideas that result in failure, before successfully squishing the caterpillar into her cocoon. When she finally emerges as a butterfly, she is eaten by a bird. The students watched intently and made notes on their hexagons. When it was over I told them to put everyone's hexagons together at their table and sort them, connecting ideas that went together. You can listen to one group's discussion in the video below:
I love this strategy so much and I hope someone else will want to try it with their class. In the spirit of paying it forward, I bought an extra hexagonal punching device to give to someone else. JSUSD teachers: comment below about how you would use this strategy in your Math, Science, English, History, or elective class and you might get a surprise in your mailbox on December 1st.