Philosophical Conversations Through Children’s Literature
Philosophy and Children’s Literature, a website created by the Center for Philosophy for Children at University of Washington, provides literature lesson plans for more than 100 children’s books geared toward elementary-school-aged students. The lesson plans suggest questions to consider when reading the stories. The lists of possible discussion questions are meant to provide ideas for teachers preparing to use these books to help generate classroom philosophical conversations; they are not intended to replace asking students what questions the stories raise for them and ensuring that the discussions emerge from the students’ questions. The books can also be used with middle school and high school students, with adaptations of the questions.
Plus: The PLATO Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization offers the Philosopher’s Toolkit, which has a variety of free lesson plans that can be used to lead philosophical discussions among pre-college students. Clicking on one of the Philosophy Tools leads to a set of lessonson that particular topic. Some are subject-area specific (History, Languages & Literature, Math, Science, Social Studies), whereas others are more general (Philosophy, Art & Aesthetics, Film). Each lesson plan indicates the grade level for which it is appropriate.
Now with Apple ARKit, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar can be brought to life in the real world. Through an augmented reality experience, children can watch their own Very Hungry Caterpillar appear in their classroom, on a kitchen table, in a garden, on their playground, or anywhere else they want to play with it.
Three new early-literacy apps have been released for free by a team in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and its Reach Every Reader initiative. The apps are designed for parents and caregivers to use with their children to encourage fun and rewarding interactions, promote dialogue, and give children the foundations they need to read, learn, and thrive.