Archives: Philosophy ToolKit

Reality Scavenger Hunt

Activity Description: Break the students into groups of three. Put the following list on the board and ask each group to come up with at least one thing that fits each category. Something that isn’t real but seems to be real Something that is real but seems not to be real Something you can’t tell Reality Scavenger Hunt

Activity: Language Game

Materials Needed (samples are available in the lesson plan attachment above): Pre-prepared cards with simple pictures on them Pre-prepared sentences to give to students Blank paper cut into card-shape sizes or blank index cards Warm-Up Activity: Write a sentence on the board that can have two different meanings. For example: “They don’t know how good Activity: Language Game

Activity: Create Your House

If you have time, this lesson will work best over a few sessions so the students have time to work on their artwork for as long as they wish. Materials: Optional: One pre-prepared outline of a house for each student. You can use pre-prepared house outlines or have students draw their own houses from scratch. Activity: Create Your House

Going Philosophical with Shapes

Lesson Summary: Students will work with partners to draw an irregular shape described they their partners through writing. Students will raise questions about the process and outcome of this activity for philosophical discussion. Activity: One student will use their partner’s directions to draw an unfamiliar shape. Students will compare the drawn shape to the picture Going Philosophical with Shapes

Dream Activity

Part 1: Have each person think of a dream they’ve had recently. After giving them a moment to think, go around in a circle and have each person share a bit about their dream. (Elementary school students may get exceptionally excited about sharing their dreams and may want to share an enormous amount of detail Dream Activity

Belief and Knowledge

Have each person right down on a piece of paper: Three things they believe Three things they know Once everyone has their statements, then have them pair up to talk about their claims, and why they put them in the category they did. This should get them started on a conversation about the difference between Belief and Knowledge

What is Beauty?

Part 1: Present the following challenge to students: Think of something (e.g., objects, places, people) that you think is truly beautiful, but that at the same time you think others might not notice and/or consider as beautiful. What do you think it is that makes it beautiful? Take a couple minutes of quiet time for What is Beauty?

Noises in the Night

A NOTE FOR TEACHERS: I’m interested in helping young people think skeptically and philosophically about concepts like knowledge, belief, evidence, fact, and theory. I developed the Vinland Map exercise for this purpose (in a philosophy of science class for gifted teens); I then wrote Noises in the Night as a way of starting similar conversations Noises in the Night