Area: History and Social Studies

Reconciliation #3 – Reparations for Slavery

Before beginning this lesson plan, we recommend reading “Things to Think About Before Introducing Social Justice Topics.” This lesson plan can be read in conjunction with “Chapter 4. Reconciliation” (pp. 69-82) in the freely available teaching resource Coping: A Philosophical Guide (Open Book Publishers, 2021) with discussion questions (pp. 124–5) and additional teaching materials (p. Reconciliation #3 – Reparations for Slavery

What is Happiness?

Ask the students to rank, from 1 to 8, the following activities according to how important they think each is for their happiness (1 is the most important on the list and 8 is the least important on the list). It can be helpful to prepare this list before the session and make a copy What is Happiness?

Media Ethics

Media ethics considers the code of ethics or moral rules that govern our media and communication practices. Conversations about media ethics can include what values or principles should guide our choices with respect to the communication of events and ideas. Facilitators or teachers can briefly discuss what media ethics is with their students, then go Media Ethics

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

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 write down on a piece of paper: 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. Then have the group come Belief and Knowledge

The Vinland Map Exercise

I developed this exercise in a series of Critical Thinking and Philosophy of Science classes. It can raise a huge range of issues about knowledge; testing and confirmation bias; skepticism and how not to be gullible; the relationship between scientific and historical and common sense thinking; the relationship between key concepts like fact, belief, theory, The Vinland Map Exercise

Robots at Work

Many students, even those who are quite young, are aware of the rapid pace at which technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are developing. This lesson entails an exploration of what the world might look like if all human jobs become automated, or done by robots. Are there jobs that humans can do that a robot Robots at Work