Thinking This module gives teachers and pupils tools to reflect about the process of thinking, the meaning of concepts, language.

Introduction

Background information and didactical perspective

Philosophy for Children (P4C) is an approach that was developed by Professor Matthew Lipman, who was influenced by educational psychologists and philosophers such as Vygotsky, Piaget and Dewey as well as by the tradition of Socratic dialogue. P4C builds on higher order thinking (critical, creative and caring thinking), inquiring, reasoning, listening and dialogical skills. Children are encouraged to create their own philosophical questions. The facilitator supports children in their own thinking, reasoning and inquiring, as well as in building on each other’s ideas in a dialogue. In P4C the facilitator fosters student-led discussions on philosophical questions. The role of the facilitator is crucial to ensuring quality dialogue and progress, as well as integration within the curriculum. It is well documented that P4C has an impact on children's cognitive, personal, social and emotional development. P4C encourages children as well as young adults to think for themselves and develop dialogical skills.

Learning outcomes

Competencies
Critical thinking, reasoning skills, inquiry skills, creative skills, dialogical skills
Thinking
  • Suitable age
    10-14
  • Time frame
    17 x 60 min.
  • Required materials
    board/flip chart; mounting material (magnets/tape/push pins); colored A4 printing paper;
  • Subjects / Topics
    Communication Dialogue Language

Lesson plan

Abbreviations:

  • A = Activity
  • D = Discussion
  • GW = Group work
  • HW = Homework
  • PW = Partnerwork
  • PTS = Previous Teacher’s Study
  • PO = Pupils opinions
  • PP = Pupil’s presentations
  • TP = Teacher’s presentation

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Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Thinking in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • One copy of a thought cloud
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Thinking and thoughts to each pupil, then introduces the subject asking students to read the questions contained in the text
  • PTS
  • TP
M1
Leading idea “Thinking”
M2
Exercise “Thinking and thoughts”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Pupils try to think about the questions contained in exercise Thinking and thoughts reflecting about their thinking process
  • PO

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • After pupils have shared their conclusions with their classmates, teacher stimulates a discussion among pupils about the relation between thinking and thoughts
  • Pupil can write or draw their ideas about thinking into a thinking cloud
  • A
  • D
  • PP
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Reasoning and the exercises Giving reasons , Giving reasons and giving explanations and Inductive reasoning in order to be aware of thinking in a logical way in order to form a conclusion or judgement
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of and the exercises Giving reasons , Giving reasons and giving explanations, Inductive reasoning and Hypothetical reasoning to each pupil, then introduces the subject asking students to read the questions contained in the text
  • PTS
  • TP
  • PO
M3
Leading idea “Reasoning”
M4
Exercise “Giving reasons”
M5
Exercise “Giving reasons and giving explanations”
M6
Exercise “Inductive reasoning”
M7
Exercise “Hypothetical reasoning- thinking with if- then statements”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • Pupils try to think if the people give good reasons – they also have to give reasons to their answers in material Giving reasons - then they move to Giving reasons and giving explanations to learn to distinguish between giving a reason and giving an explanation and also move to Inductive reasoning and Hypothetical reasoning to learn about distinguishing between giving reasons and giving explanations
  • A

Discussion
(35 min.)

  • After pupils have shared their conclusions with their classmates, teacher stimulates a discussion and encourage them to think of own examples
  • Giving a reason and giving an explanation
  • Use examples to make general rules
  • Practice “If- then- statements”
  • D
  • PP
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Underlying assumption in order to be aware of assumptions
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Figuring out underlying assumption to each pupil, then introduces the subject asking students figuring out underlying assumptions and finding out different Mental acts
  • PTS
  • TP
M8
Leading idea “Underlying assumptions”
M9
Exercise “Figuring out underlying assumptions”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Pupil try figuring out underlying assumptions and inquire mental acts

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • Then the pupils share their conclusions with their classmates reflecting on the investigation process
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Dreaming in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • One piece of paper for drawing
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Dreaming to each pupil, then introduces the subject asking students to read the questions contained in the text
  • PTS
  • TP
M11
Leading idea “Dreaming”
M12
Exercise “Dreaming”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Pupils try to think about the questions contained in this exercise reflecting about dreaming
  • PO

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • After pupils have shared their conclusions with their classmates, teacher stimulates a discussion among pupils about dreaming
  • Students can write or draw their ideas about dreaming
  • A
  • D
  • PP
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Good Reasons in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercises The relevance of reason and Good reasons to each pupil, then introduces the subject asking students to read the text looking for criteria for good and poor reasons
  • PTS
  • TP
M13
Leading idea “Good reasons”
M14
Exercise “The relevance of a reason”
M15
Activity “Good reasons”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • Pupils try to think about the reasons in The relevance of reason and Good reasons.
  • PW

Discussion
(30 min.)

  • After pupils have shared their criteria with their classmates, teacher stimulates a discussion among pupils about good reasons and criteria
  • D
  • PP
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Relation between parts and whole in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Relations between parts and whole to each pupil, then introduces the subject asking students to read the questions contained in the text
  • PTS
  • TP
M16
Leading idea “Relation between parts and whole”
M17
Exercise “Relation between parts and whole”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Pupils try to answer questions contained in the exercise clarifying the relation between the parts and the whole
  • PO

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • After pupils have shared their conclusions with their classmates, teacher stimulates a discussion among pupils about the relation between the parts and the whole
  • D
  • PP
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Hypothetical Syllogism in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise The syllogism to each pupil, then introduces the subject asking students to read the text looking for their conclusions of the if…then statements
  • PTS
  • TP
M18
Leading idea “Hypothetical syllogism, if…..then….”
M19
Exercise “The syllogism”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Pupils try to think about the syllogism reflecting about their conclusions
  • PO

Discussion
(35 min.)

  • After pupils have shared their conclusions with their classmates, teacher stimulates a discussion among pupils about the different examples
  • D
  • PP
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(10 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Looking for alternatives in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher introduces a simple game What is it used for? and then hands out a copy of exercises Lookig for alternatives - Criteria Lookig for alternatives to everyday situations and Alternatives to each pupil, then introduces the subject asking students to look for alternatives
  • PTS
  • TP
M20
Leading idea “Looking for alternatives”
M21
Activity “What is it used for?”
M22
Exercise “Looking for alternatives. Criteria”
M23
Exercise “Looking for alternatives to everyday situations”
M25
Exercise “Alternatives”

Game
(10 min.)

  • Playing a simple game
  • A
M21
Activity “What is it used for?”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Pupils try to think about the questions contained in the exercises reflecting about their thinking process
  • PO
M22
Exercise “Looking for alternatives. Criteria”
M23
Exercise “Looking for alternatives to everyday situations”
M25
Exercise “Alternatives”

Discussion
(30 min.)

  • After pupils have shared their conclusions with their classmates, teacher stimulates a discussion among pupils about looking of alternatives and criteria
  • Pupils can think about conflict situations and perform a play/scenes in front of the class
  • A
  • D
  • PP
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea “Looking for alternatives” in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher divides the students in groups and asks them to think about a conflict situation and asks to perform a play/scenes in front of the class
  • PTS
  • TP
M20
Leading idea “Looking for alternatives”
M24
Activity “What would you change? Looking for alternatives”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • Each group will prepare a scene and performs it in front of the class
  • A

Discussion
(20 min.)

  • After performing the scenes the teacher invites the pupils to think about different solutions for the conflicts in the scenes
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Lying in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Lying to each pupil, then introduces the subject asking students to read the questions contained in the text
  • PTS
  • TP
M26
Leading idea “Lying”
M27
Exercise “Lying”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Pupils try to think about the questions contained in the exercise reflecting about lying, reasons and justifications
  • PO

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • After pupils have shared their ideas with their classmates, teacher stimulates a discussion among pupils about lying
  • D
  • PP
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(10 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Truth in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Prepare a flip chart
Execution
  • Teacher writes on the flip chart the questions contained in exercise Truth, then introduces the subject asking students to read the questions written on the flip chart
  • PTS
  • TP
M28
Leading idea “Truth”
M29
Exercise “Truth”

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • Teacher stimulates the discussion among the pupils inviting them to discuss with their classmates the issues that they think are more relevant. Students do not need to answer all the questions. The teacher should facilitate a philosophical dialogue and should always ask for reasons (not allowing “yes” or “no” answers)
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Truth in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a sheet
  • Prepare a lamp
Execution
  • After having fixed the sheet upright in a way that makes it seem like a screen, the teacher puts a lamp behind it. S/he closes the windows or shades since the room must be dark, and turns on the lamp. Before turning on the lamp, the teacher will have put some objects between the lamp and the sheet. Depending on the distance of the objects from the light, the shadows will assume a different size. S/he tries to make the smallest objects seem bigger and vice versa
  • PTS
  • TP
M28
Leading idea “Truth”
M30
Activity “Lift the veil”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • Then the teacher asks the students what they see in the shadows projected on the sheet, for example their size and colour. Then the teacher lifts the sheet and shows everyone what is truly behind it
  • A

Discussion
(35 min.)

  • After the activity, the teacher asks students to think about how many means exist to reach the truth, if is easy to reach the truth, when and whether we can understand that a thing is true. The teacher invites students to share their reasoning
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Truth in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise True/False to each pupil and invite them to decide if the statements contained in the text are true or false and give reason of their choices
  • PTS
  • TP
M28
Leading idea “Truth”
M31
Exercise “True or False”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • Pupils work individually on the exercise
  • PO

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • Teacher invites pupils to share their conclusions, asking for the reasoning behind students’ assertions to facilitate the critical thinking
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Reality in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Prepare a flip chart
Execution
  • Teacher writes on the flip chart the questions contained in exercise Reality, introduces the subject inviting pupils to reflect on the concept reality
  • PTS
  • TP
M32
Leading idea “Reality”
M33
Exercise “Reality”

Discussion
(35 min.)

  • Teacher stimulates the discussion among students about the questions written on the flip chart, remembering that they do not need to answer all of them. The teacher should facilitate a philosophical dialogue and should always ask for the reasoning behind students’ answers (not allowing “yes” or “no” answers)
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea “Reality” in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • prepare a large box, a glove and a stocking, glue
  • prepare some objects of different shapes to put in the box (one of these must be something with which the students are not familiar)
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Step 1 Teacher cuts the foot of a stocking and sews a glove in place of it. S/he makes a hole in one of the box’s sides. It must be big enough to allow an arm to go inside, and then the teacher sticks the stocking on it, putting the glove into the box. S/he puts some objects of different shapes in the box; five are enough, but one of these objects must be something with which the students are not familiar
  • Step 2 Teacher divides the students in four groups and asks them to take turns slipping their hand into the glove and reaching into the box touching the objects
  • PTS
  • TP
M32
Leading idea “Reality”

Game
(20 min.)

  • Each team will write down on a piece of paper the objects it thinks it recognizes. Then the teacher collects the papers, opens the box, shows them the content and gives one point for each recognized object. The winner will be the team that has recognized the most objects
  • A

Main section
(15 min.)

  • After doing the previous activity, the Teacher invites pupils to answer the questions contained in exercise What is this?
  • PO
M34
Activity “What is this?”

Discussion
(20 min.)

  • Then the pupils share their conclusions with their classmates reflecting on the investigation process they used to recognize the objects in the box
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(15 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea “Reality” in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a sheet
  • Prepare a lamp
Execution
  • Step 1 After having fixed the sheet upright in a way that makes it seem like a screen, the teacher puts a lamp behind it, closes the windows or shades since the room must be dark, and turns on the lamp
  • Step 2 Teacher asks two or more students to act out some scenarios in order to make their bodies appear deformed on the other side. For example, if the lamp is next to the sheet and one of the students stands next to it, his or her shadow will appear to be a normal size. But if another student stands next to the other side of the lamp and goes towards whoever is still next to it, he or she will seem like a giant who is about to attack a poor victim. The teacher asks pupils to use their imagination to create different stories
  • A
  • PTS
  • TP
M32
Leading idea “Reality”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • The pupils chosen act out their invented scenarios while the other students are the observers
  • PP

Discussion
(30 min.)

  • After the activity the teacher invites students to reflect on whether the perception of the observers is different from that of the actors, and in what sense
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea Reality in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Prepare a flip chart
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Step 1 Teacher gives a copy of exercise Is it real or not? to each pupil and invites them to say if they define the things listed in the first part of the text as real or not.
  • Step 2 While the pupils are working on the exercise, the teacher writes the questions contained in the second part of the exercise on the flip chart
  • PTS
  • TP
M32
Leading idea “Reality”
M36
Exercise “Is it real or not?”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • The pupils work on the exercise individually. After completed the table of the exercise, pupils give reasons to their answers on a piece of paper
  • PO

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • After completed the exercise, pupils compare their answers with their classmates and try to answer the questions the teacher has written on the flip chart, discussing the different points of view
  • D