Problem in the Olympic Pool



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Problem Solving Step 1

Understanding through Empathy (Six Hats Protocol)

Today, you will revisit the “Problem in the Olympic Pool” scenario we worked on with Mrs. Baker before Fall Break.



Today’s approach will be different in that you are going to:

  1. Work Individually

  2. Think and Research from your perspective only.

  3. Put time, thought, research, and reflection into your approach.

We will resume discussion and move forward in teaching you to solve problems in effective ways on Wednesday when I get back to school. If you need a template to help you stay organized today, there is a template file on my website that you can open and type your responses into.

Part 1: Defining and Relating to Empathy – Answer the following questions in a Word Document or on notebook paper.

  1. Define the word empathy according to a dictionary.

  2. Consider the dictionary definition of empathy, and now describe what this word means to you personally.

  3. Describe an example where you have been empathetic and it helped solve a problem.

  4. Describe an example where you were not empathetic and it prevented you from solving a problem.

  5. Why is empathy an important place to start in solving a problem?

Part 2: Applying Empathy to a Problem – Review the information on the Six Thinking Hats below. Consider how you will “think” if you were to wear each hat for a few minutes when you are trying to solve a problem.

There is nothing written for Part 2. 😊

The Six Thinking Hats



Part 3: Consider the Problem in the Olympic Pool Scenario and respond to the following Thinking Hat Prompts. You may research information, statistics, ideas to help you respond, although many of the responses should come from your own thoughts. Record your responses in the Word Document or Notebook paper where you recorded your Part 1 Responses.

Thinking Hat Prompts



  1. White Hat – What information do we currently have about the problem? What information do we need to know?

  2. Red Hat – What emotions did you feel when you first read about this problem? What caused these emotions? What is your gut reaction (intuition) to the problem? What bothers you about this problem?

  3. Yellow Hat – What good can come out of this problem? Describe any win-win ideas that come to mind about this problem.

  4. Black Hat – Why is this problem dangerous? Why should we use caution in solving this problem?

  5. Green Hat – What creative ideas do you have to solve this problem?

  6. Blue Hat – What is the problem at hand? Why is it a problem? Why should other people care about this problem?

Part 4: Reflecting about Empathy – Respond to the following questions (on the same Word Document or Notebook paper) to reflect on what you learned through today’s “Six Hat’s Protocol.”

  1. How was today’s activity different from the original way we approached this problem before Fall Break?

  2. How was today’s activity more effective than the original approach we took?

  3. Do you feel prepared for a group discussion about the problem in the Olympic Pool? Explain and use evidence from today’s activity to support your answer.

  4. What have you learned about empathy and problem solving today?

  5. What hats were the easiest for you to “wear” in Part 3? How do these relate to your learning profile data?

  6. What hats were most difficult for you to “wear” in Part 3? How do these relate to your learning profile data?



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