Topic: Epistemology

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

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

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

What do you know? An Exercise about What Knowledge Is

The full lesson plan is available as a PDF in the Lesson Attachment area above. Our whole education is organized around “buckets” of knowledge: “2+2 = 4” (math bucket); “Hydrogen is an element but water isn’t” (chemistry bucket); “Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809” (history bucket). But philosophy (and especially epistemology, the study of knowledge) What do you know? An Exercise about What Knowledge Is

Do You Know You Have Hands?

Hands painted in multi colors

Philosophers question what others take for granted. Asking young people whether they know they have hands (or feet, eyes, or ears) can be a wonderful way to have fun while practicing careful thinking. Start by asking “Do you know you have hands?” If the child responds, “Of course I know I have hands!” you can Do You Know You Have Hands?

Are We Living in a Simulation?

Are We Living in a Simulation, and What Would it Mean if the Answer is Yes? The purpose of this lesson is to explore the nature of reality and how we know whether or not anything is real Begin the lesson with the two short embedded videos to get the students thinking and engaged in Are We Living in a Simulation?

Trouble in Paradise

This lesson can be used either in a classroom or online. Plot Summary: In this short film, a crab is living on a tropical island. When a coconut falls from a palm tree, the crab is alarmed and treats the coconut like a dangerous enemy. The crab cautiously approaches the coconut to investigate and ultimately Trouble in Paradise

The Present

This lesson can be used either in a classroom or online. Plot Summary: In this short film, a child is sitting inside on a sunny day playing video games. Their mother comes home with a box and suggests they stop playing video games and open the present. Inside the box is a wiggly, excited, and The Present

The Jigsaw Puzzle Game

colorful jigsaw puzzle

Materials needed: A picture (hardcopy/softcopy depending on the mode of lecture) Description: The selected picture should be divided equally in ratio with the number of participants and each participant should be handed over one part of the image. The facilitator will now ask the participants to guess the picture presented to them. Since each participant The Jigsaw Puzzle Game