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7 Ways to Use Objects and a Two-for-One Training Offer

By Thomas Bigglestone | October 13, 2017

Objects play a big role in our teaching. They’re familiar, available, and engaging – 3D beats 2D. They’re also a versatile tool in P4C. In this issue, how we can use objects for warm ups, hands-on stimuli, and in facilitation. Read the P.S. for a two-for-one training offer.  r Warm-up Games  r Pointing At Stuff – many…

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P4C Poem on Freedom for National Poetry Day

By Thomas Bigglestone | October 10, 2017

Thursday 28th September is www.nationalpoetryday.co.uk, and the theme is “freedom”. Here’s my contribution, a question poem asking which freedoms are most important: physical, psychological or economic. Is it enough to be free from constraints or must you be actively free to make choices for yourself? Display copy attached. Freedom? No walls, no wire, No guards,…

P4C Stimulus: The Eatometer

By Thomas Bigglestone | October 6, 2017

To follow last week’s “Freedom?” poem, here’s an activity exploring the connected concept of “control” in relation to food – The Eatometer. If you used the poem, you may find they reference that discussion – a community of enquiry noticing its own “history”. The Stimulus Like all –ometers, pupils arrange cards in an order. This…

The “Greyest Example”

By Thomas Bigglestone | September 23, 2017

This week, a video stimulus inviting thinking about how much we are connected to one another, and an exercise that invites careful thought about borderline cases. Are we “as one”? This video stimulus is a rather magnificent time-lapse of plants growing, set to a new-age, ecological soundtrack. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul496wlitY0 The refrain of the song is around us…

P4C Concept Activity: Sort It Out!

By Thomas Bigglestone | September 11, 2017

Tidying doesn’t always come naturally to children, but sorting does. r Put a range of pictures or objects in front of them, and ask them to divide them into different groups, and they will generally get straight to work. It’s a simple and satisfying activity. They may spot categories that wouldn’t occur to us in…

P4C Back to School Activity: Who Believes What?

By Thomas Bigglestone | August 29, 2017

Most readers will have another week of holiday left before going back to school. A mathematical/philosophical question – if the pre-term preparation you could do feels infinite, won’t infinity remain the same size if you have another prosecco in the sunshine instead? r When term does start, attached is a philosophical version of the perennial…

Bake a Concept Cake: Traditional Tales

By Thomas Bigglestone | July 19, 2017

This week, two ideas to explore the philosophical potential of ‘Traditional Tales’. . We know who wrote Harry Potter, and when, and where. However, the origins of ‘Traditional Tales’ are less clear-cut. They’re told and re-told, and passed from generation to generation. They often spawn new interpretations along the way. And depending on where we are…

Facilitator Facilitatee: 45 Questions to Push Pair Thinking Deeper

By Thomas Bigglestone | July 17, 2017

his week, a new pair activity, “Facilitator Facilitatee” which hands over to the children the job of pushing past opinions and initial reasons to make their partner think more deeply. There are two versions of the activity: a Powerpoint for use by groups sitting down, or a PDF of printable cards for use in a…

Could a Robot Replace…

By Thomas Bigglestone | June 30, 2017

In a previous issue, we looked at the possibility of robot teachers. This week, as it’s topical, two classroom-ready ideas to provoke thinking about artificial intelligence more broadly. r Could a Robot Replace… r Earlier this week, teachers on our open course created a Thinkers’ Game to tie in with their current topic: Robots. Which…

Philosophy Assemblies

By Thomas Bigglestone | June 15, 2017

This week’s theme is assemblies, although the stimuli mentioned could be used for a normal-sized group. Philosophy Assemblies are a great way to embed philosophy as a whole-school practice, but they are very different to normal assemblies. How can you set the right mood, choose the right stimulus and facilitate successfully with such a large…

P4C Thought Experiment: The Us

By Thomas Bigglestone | June 6, 2017

This week, a stimulus that seeks to go beyond the rough-and-tumble partisanship of election debates to a more profound approach to thinking about a just society. The stimulus and enquiry plan is attached as a PDF here, and there’s an audio version of the stimulus here: r r It’s called “The Us”, and is an…

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