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Franklin Goes to the Hospital

By Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark

Summary

Franklin has a small crack in his shell and he has to have an operation at the hospital. When he has to have an X-ray, he is afraid that people will find out that even though he looks brave on the outside he is scared on the inside. Franklin learns that even though he is scared, he is still brave.

Guidelines for Philosophical Discussion

By Ally Lightfoot

There are three main philosophical issues in this story, fear, bravery and support. This book tells the reader that it is okay to be scared by saying that “being brave means doing what you have to do, no matter how scared you feel.” The discussion will provide a challenge to what individuals think by having many differing opinions. These questions will encourage deeper consideration of fear, bravery and the support of friends and family. The use of controversial questions will allow for children to explore their thoughts and have a deep philosophical discussion.

Franklin had a lot of support from those around him, helping him to overcome his fears. This poses the question as to whether it is easier to be brave when there is someone to help you through it. As well as many questions regarding the children’s personal lives such as what are some items or people that help you overcome your fears? And are you less afraid when you have a friend with you? These questions are all easily answerable and the children will be able to reflect on their own feelings and experiences before answering questions that are slightly less personal and broader. In Franklin Goes to the Hospital, he is told exactly what is going to happen to him throughout the entire story. There is never a time when Franklin is left guessing what is going to happen. This lets us consider whether it is easier to be brave when you know exactly what is going to happen to you. Generally, people have greater anxiety when they are unsure of the future, but if everyone always knew, step-by-step, what was going to happen then they would likely be less afraid of the outcome.

Fear, bravery and support are all things that are evident in the lives of the students. In a single day they can be presented with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their bravery, such as standing up to a bully or conquering the fear of talking in front of the class. The questions and ideas presented in the story are quite relatable to the children. Not only do they have the chance to think about relevant questions in a deeper way, but they also are able to determine what bravery is, what fear is, and the importance of friendship. All of these personal ideas that they will develop will help them in real life. These controversial questions about everyday issues are easily answerable, making for a good discussion. It is important to understand that there are many differing definitions of fear and bravery, and also to accept that there is no correct answer. By learning and accepting varying views of society, we are able to gain a stronger and deeper outlook on the world.

Questions for Philosophical Discussion

Fear

  1. How does a person act when they are scared?
  2. Could you tell that Franklin was afraid before he told Dr. Bear?
  3. Have you ever hid your fear from a friend? Why or why not?
  4. Why do you think someone would hide their fear from another person?
  5. If people think you are not scared, are you still scared?
  6. Are there different levels of fear?
  7. If all people have the same fear, how does their fear differ?
  8. What does it mean to be scared?

Bravery

  1. Can you think of a time that you acted brave?
  2. How does someone act when they feel brave?
  3. Dr. Bear says, “Just because you’re afraid doesn’t mean you aren’t brave”. Do you agree?
  4. Is it possible to be both brave and afraid at the same time?
  5. Both Bear and Dr. Bear told Franklin he was brave, if someone tells you that you are brave does that make you brave?
  6. Are people’s perceptions of another’s bravery always correct?
  7. Is it possible to be brave all the time?

Friendship and Support

  1. Are you less afraid if you have a friend with you?
  2. What are some items or people that help you overcome your fears?
  3. Franklin had a lot of support from his friends and family, is it easier to be brave when you have others to help you?
  4. Is it better to deal with your fears alone or with a friend?
  5. Is it easier to be brave when someone walks you through your fear, the way that Dr. Bear did?
  6. Is someone braver if they can deal with situations alone?

This book module deals with ethics, specifically virtue and bravery. You can buy this book on Amazon.

This website was developed with the assistance of the Squire Family Foundation.