Mind Games

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Area: Film, Science
Grade Level: Primary/Elementary School
Topics: matter, meaning of life, metaphysics, Mind, philosophy of mind
Estimated Time Necessary: 45 minutes

Lesson Plan

Objectives:
Thinking about philosophy of mind
Students can reflect on topics central to philosophy of mind, including whether there is a difference between the brain and the mind and where the mind goes when it wanders off or daydreams.
Thinking about education
Students can reflect on their experiences with education, learning, and test-taking.
What is the meaning of life?
The last question posed on the student's test is "What is the meaning of life?". Students can reflect together on how we might go about answering that question and whether there is meaning to life.

This lesson can be used either in a classroom or online. 

Plot Summary: In Jiaqi Emily Yan’s animated short “Mind Games,” a child sits bored at a school desk, trying to focus on classwork. Their brain jumps out of their head, stuffs it with books, and heads outside to play while the child robotically regurgitates the information from the books onto their paper. When the schoolwork poses the question “What is the meaning of life?” the child can no longer rely on the books to answer, causing a meltdown. The brain returns and draws a colorful picture in response to the question.

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Video

Discussion Questions

  • Is it the child’s brain or mind that leaves?
  • Is there a difference between the mind and the brain?
  • Does your mind ever feel as though it goes somewhere else? Where does it go?
  • Can information from books answer most of the questions at school?
  • Can books tell us the meaning of life?
  • What is the meaning of life?

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