Me and You

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Area: History and Social Studies, Other Areas
Grade Level: Middle School, Primary/Elementary School
Topics: Community, Relationships, Stoicism
Estimated Time Necessary: 30 minutes

Lesson Plan

Introduce the stoic belief around relationships
To give a general introduction to how to view relationships through a stoic’s lense.
To teach how to identify your relationship with your community

Start off the activity by talking to the students about relationships.


Who here has someone they’re close with? (whether that be a friend or family member)

Are there any other people you have a close relationship with?

Why do you think you’re close to them?

What is a relationship?

After introducing the idea of relationships, students can start doing the circles of Hierocles (see Additional Resources tab for a link).

This is the idea of us being in the center of a series of circles. Then we can start with small circles, with people that are closest to us, whether that be our family or friends. Then we add another circle with classmates, or teachers, etc. Then the next step up might be people in our neighborhood or community. This process can continue up until any point. Now the focus is to reduce the circles, giving each circle as much emotional importance as the other ones. This activity helps us see how we see our closer inner relationships in comparison to our relationship with our community and overall world.

At each point, it may be helpful to ask the students about who is in the circle in discussion and why they placed them there.


Discussion Questions

  • What sort of relationship does the individual have with their community? World?
  • What does it mean to be close to someone or something?
  • When does your circle begin to include your friends as opposed to your family? Why?
  • Are we all a part of one community?


This lesson plan was created for PLATO by: Jungwon Kim, Hamilton College.

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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