Topic: metaphysics

Reality Scavenger Hunt

Activity Description: Break the students into groups of three. Put the following list on the board and ask each group to come up with at least one thing that fits each category. Something that isn’t real but seems to be real Something that is real but seems not to be real Something you can’t tell Reality Scavenger Hunt

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

Is it Dessert?

Half an orange and whole orange

Using whatever piece of fruit you have available, ask if that fruit is dessert. With this simple prompt, a rich discussion about the nature of dessert will develop. Is anything you eat after a meal dessert? Is it dessert if you ate it without eating a meal first? Can it be dessert if it is Is it Dessert?

Thinking about 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 Thinking about Imaginary Friends

Philosophy of Teams

Description: In this lesson, educators will ask students a number of questions about a sports team undergoing different types of hypothetical changes over the course of an offseason. The questions, which discuss player replacements to uniform and location switches, invite students to grapple with the question, “how much change has to occur over the course Philosophy of Teams

Mind Games

Illustration from Jiaqi Emily Yan's animated short film "Mind Games" featuring a pink brain coloring on the sidewalk

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 Mind Games

Identity Activity: What makes you, you?

ship landed on icy covered land

Materials needed: Lesson plan (warm-ups, story, and game) Space for participants to form opposing groups Description: Before presenting participants with the thought experiment, engage them in at least one warm-up. For first time philosophers and/or for longer class periods, warm-up using the “Philosophy Warm-Up” prompts. If the group has already developed basic ideas about the Identity Activity: What makes you, you?

Magic Box Activity

Photograph of a black box with a big red button in the center of it to illustrate PLATO's "Magic Box" lesson plan for elementary aged students

Students are arranged into groups of 2-4. First they formulate their answers to written questions, then they work together as a group to respond to a challenge at the end of the activity. Discussion Questions For the first few questions, think about all of the different kinds of things that you do at home, at Magic Box Activity