This week, a fun and engaging session plan that uses actions as stimuli. 

But first, find out how to join us for World Philosophy Day Live! – a special online lesson next Thursday November 17th…

Join our live-lesson on World Philosophy Day!

Thursday November 17th is World Philosophy Day, so why not celebrate it with a special live-lesson?

Join The Philosophy Man team, and schools around the world, for World Philosophy Day Live – a chance for children to enjoy some “deep-fun”! 

  • A lively interactive experience that gets children thinking, talking and laughing
  • An chance for learners to share their views with a global audience
  • An easy way to celebrate World Philosophy Day with minimal planning!

There’s two live-lessons – one at 9 a.m. (UK time) and another at 3.45 p.m. 

Learn more!

Does your voice still exist while you are silent?

This session is taken from David Birch’s excellent Thinking Beans: a year of classroom philosophy lessonsThere are three “actions” for the class to enjoy, each followed by a set of questions. If you have more time, a longer session plan is here

Action 1

In unison ask the class to repeat a certain word five times, ‘conker’ for instance. Then ask them to sit in silence for 5 seconds.

Question 1: Does your voice still exist while you are silent?
― If it does still exist, where is it?
― Does it make sense to say that we have a silent voice?
― Is your voice an ability or an entity?
― If it does not exist, do you have a different voice every time you speak?

Action 2 

Ask the class to sit with their mouths open while a volunteer (x) loudly says a word, ‘gargoyle’ for instance.

Question 2: Did x’s voice enter your mouth? 
― If x’s voice entered your ears, does that mean it also entered your mouth?
― If you swallow while x is talking, are you swallowing her voice?
― If x’s voice entered your mouth, does that mean her words entered it too?

Action 3 

Ask a volunteer (x) to loudly say a word, ‘defenestrate’ for instance. Ask another (y) to stand at the back of the room, and another (z) to stand midway between the other two.

Question 3: Who is closest to x’s voice?
― Is being close to the source of the voice the same as being close to the voice?
― If x’s voice exists everywhere it can be heard, is everyone who hears it the same distance from it?
― If x’s voice exists everywhere it can be heard, is there any distance between it and those who can hear it?
― Is it possible to get closer to x’s voice than x is?
― Where is x’s voice?

The actions are really important – otherwise, it can be easy for children to think of their voice in a more general way (like when protesting) which makes for a different discussion!

Best wishes,

Tom and Jason

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