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.
Each month we publish blogs and several newsletters full of digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM resources. Below are items from our blogs and newsletters that educators turned to the most in September.
Circle Round, a storytelling podcast for children aged 4–10, tells carefully selected folktales from around the world with an eye toward inclusivity. The stories are adapted into 10- to 20-minute diverse episodes that delve into topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity, while taking children to places they didn’t think possible.
Researchers at Gallaudet University are working to develop high-tech reading resources for children who are deaf. The tools include storybook applications that help children understand emotions portrayed in the text.