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Suggested Follow-Up Activities after Philosophy Discussions

These are some suggestions for activities that you could ask the students to do following each philosophy discussion. We’ve tried to find ones that draw on different abilities and skills than those used in philosophy discussions. Let us know what you think of them.

1. Dragons and Giants: Ask the students to draw someone they think is brave and/or describe why the person is brave

2. Frederick: In the book Frederick, the field mice go to live in the cave during winter. While in the cave, the mice run out of food and Frederick uses the art of poetry to help pass the days. Now it is your turn to create your own suitcase for the winter. Think of four things that you would bring to survive the winter that resembles the field mice’s supplies, and one or two things like Frederick’s. Draw pictures that represent what you think are the most important things you will need to survive a long winter. Make sure to be very thoughtful and careful in your selection, because you will have to explain why you picked each item.

3. The Important Book: Ask the students to choose any item in the classroom, list some of its properties, and say whether there is one “most important property.”

4. The Giving Tree: Have the students draw or write something that they think the old man could have done with the stump that would have been better than just sitting on it

5. Many Moons: Draw a picture of something that grows back once you pick it, pull it, or otherwise take it

6. Knuffle Bunny: The following exercise is meant to get children thinking about whether it is always better and more successful to use words or gestures to communicate. Have the children form a circle around you. Place the book on the ground and tell the group that one at a time, they are to give you one direction on how to pick the book up off the ground. The children can only use their words, no hands or gestures are allowed and only one instruction per person. As the teacher, make sure to take everything they say literally, as if you are a robot that has never picked up a book before. The objective is to show children how much we as humans rely on body language and gestures to communicate. After the children, working collectively, get you to pick up the book have them reflect on the exercise. What did you learn? What did this exercise show us about communication? Has your thoughts or opinions changed?

7. Emily’s Art: Have the students make a drawing like Emily that expresses their feelings about something

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