Thinking about Imaginary Friends

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Area: History and Social Studies, Language Arts and Literature, Other Areas
Grade Level: Primary/Elementary School
Topics: Friendship, imagination, metaphysics, philosophy of mind
Estimated Time Necessary: 45 minutes to several days, depending on how many conversations you want to have

Lesson Plan

Objectives:
Thinking about friendship, reality, and the nature of imaginary friends.
This activity provides an opportunity to think together about a wide array of topics, including: friendship, reality, and the nature of imaginary friends.

This is an activity that works best with younger children (7-8 years old is ideal). There are several books that can prompt thinking about imaginary friends. You might try:

These books can be used alone or one after another for a series of conversations about imaginary friends. You can read the book(s) and then ask what the children are wondering about, using their questions as a starting place. You can also think together about some of the questions on the Discussion Questions tab in this lesson plan.

Another option is to have children draw an imaginary friend and have them reflect on and talk about what would make for a great imaginary friend.

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Discussion Questions

  • Are imaginary friends real?
  • Where do imaginary friends go if you forget about them?
  • Are imaginary friends better than regular friends?
  • Can imaginary friends do things without you being there to imagine them?
  • Is it possible to leave your imaginary friend behind somewhere?
  • Do adults have imaginary friends? Should they?

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