In the hoop: taking part in a philosophical conversation by presenting arguments

IN THE HOOP: taking part in a philosophical conversation by presenting arguments
Kindergarten philosophy worksheet

OBJECTIVE
The children defend their choices.

BEFORE YOU START
Select a picture book or puppet story. Select the fragments you will use to ask the children a question involving choice.
Choose appropriate objects or printed images (of the characters, situations, etc. which you want to interrogate).

MATERIAL
2 hoops, pairs of pictures, characters, objects, 1 pictogram/block … per child.

STEP 1
Tell the story. Show the pictures or puppets. Let the children react spontaneously.
– Who is he?
– What is he/she doing?
– What is happening?
– Why is he/she doing that?

STEP 2
Tell the story again, up to the fragment about which you ask a question involving choice.
Place an object or character/image in each hoop.
Ask your ‘choice question’, which allows the children to choose between hoop 1 and hoop 2.

E.g. What do you think you can share?
2 boots (hoop 1) or a stick (hoop 2)?

The children put their pictogram in the hoop of their choice.
Probe for the reason for their choice:

o Why do you think you can share two boots? How will you do that?
o Why do you think you can share a stick? How will you do that?

STEP 3
Repeat, using other pictures or objects.

VARIANT
You can also use this exercise to gauge the children’s feelings. Give each child a smiley and ask which he likes: the situation in hoop 1 or in hoop 2? Always ask for the reason.

REFLECTION
– What did you do with the hoops?
– Did you find it difficult to choose? What makes it difficult or easy to choose?
– Have you made choices at home? Tell us about it.
– When can we do this exercise again, in class or at school?

Bridge to philosophical conversation

You have let the children justify their choices, which means that you have taught them to use arguments. If you have a concept or value in mind in advance, that’s linked to the story, you can now examine it during a philosophical conversation.
During the exercise you may have thought together about a concept – e.g. the concept of sharing. In this way you already collected input from the children during the exercise. Using this conceptual material, you can have a philosophical conversation, now or at a later time. You can start from the question: What is …? Or, using a comparison, think up a stimulating philosophical question.

E.g. What does sharing mean? Can you share something that does not belong to you? Can you only share something you see? Etc.

Read more:

Relationship square: exploring new ways of thinking by following analogies:
Who we are and what we do

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