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From the PLATO Philosopher's Toolkit


On Friendship

Materials needed Index cards Whiteboard and several different colored dry erase markers   Description Pass out one index card to each student. Instruct the students to draw, without using representations of people (including stick figures, faces, and the like), a

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Fair or Equal?

Materials needed List of roles and responsibilities (see below) A bag of candy   Description Begin the exercise by holding up the bag of candy (make sure you have enough for at least one piece for every student) and ask,

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What is art? An Art Activity

Have each student draw two pictures. One drawing must be a drawing they would call art, and the other one they would not call art.   Once the students have finished drawing, ask them to share their pieces and explain

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What is music? Silence and Sound

Organize a live performance of composer John Cage’s piece 4’33” in the school music room (or watch with your students one of the many online videos of it). Cage’s work, which was composed for any instrument and consists of the

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Activity: What’s Your Reason?

This game involves students writing down claims supported by reasons and then guessing each others’ claims after listening only to the reasons.   Hand out four note cards (or note-card sized pieces of paper) to each student. Ask them to

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Activity: Keep the Question Going

This game involves students generating questions collaboratively. The exercise runs easily for about ten minutes and can go for a half hour or more with discussion. It is often a good exercise to use early in the year, as it

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Can animals make music?

We all love music.  Some of us sing daily, if just to ourselves.  It could be our favorite tune from Frozen or simply a tune we made up ourselves.  What makes sound music?  Let’s start with ourselves. The teacher/facilitator may

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