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Plato Was Wrong!


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Do Philosophy With Young People? 3 Why Use Philosophical Exercises? 7 How Are the Philosophical Exercises Organized? 11 How Are the Philosophical Exercises Used? 16 Tips for Successful Pre-College Philosophy Sessions 19 Lesson Plans 20 Topic One: What Is Philosophy? 21 Lesson Plan: Are You a Philosopher? 23 Lesson Plan: One Rule Game 33 Lesson Plan: The Three Questions 40 Lesson Plan: Energizer Activity-Word Association 44 Lesson Plan: Blind Painter 48 Lesson Plan: Keep the Question Going 53 Lesson Plan: Sense and Nonsense 56 Topic Two: What is Good Thinking? 58 Lesson Plan: Good News, Bad News 58 Lesson Plan: A Little Logic 63 Lesson Plan: How Many of These Do You Know? 70 Topic Three: What Do I Know? 74 Lesson Plan: "What's Your Reason?" Game 74 Lesson Plan: Two Trues, One False 79 Lesson Plan: The Egg Drop Game 86 Lesson Plan: Assassin Game 92 Lesson Plan: Hypothesis Generation Exercise 98 Lesson Plan: Which Story Is True? 102 Lesson Plan: What Do I Know (About this Strawberry?) Exercise 107 Lesson Plan: Confirmation Bias Exercise 110 Topic Four: What is Real? 114 Lesson Plan: Reality Scavenger Hunt 114 Lesson Plan: "What Makes the Team the Team?" Exercise 119 Lesson Plan: What Makes Me Me? 123 Lesson Plan: Could Anything Else Have Happened? 131 Lesson Plan: Got a Minute? 136 Topic Five: What is Art? 140 Lesson Plan: Aesthetics Scavenger Hunt 141 Lesson Plan: "Smoke" 144 Lesson Plan: Art Market 147 Topic Six: What is the Right Thing to Do? 152 Lesson Plan: Ring of Gyges Diary 153 Lesson Plan: Life Boat Exercise 157 Lesson Plan: What Do Rights Look Like? Exercise 166 Lesson Plan: The Red/Green Game 173 Lesson Plan: "Hand Dealt" 179 Lesson Plan: Fair or Equal? 190 Lesson Plan: Ants and Chocolate 195 Lesson Plan: Fish and Candy 200 Topic Seven: What is the Meaning of Life? 203 Lesson Plan: What's Worth Doing? 203 Lesson Plan: "What Is the Meaning of Life?" Game 206 Lesson Plan: Why? 209 Ten Recommended Readings for Exploring Philosophy with Children 211 Reading: Williams, Margery, The Velvetine Rabbit 220 Reading: Wiseman, B., Morris the Moose 220 Reading: L'Engle, Madeline, A Wrinkle In Time 222 Reading: Koss, Amy Goldman, The Ashwater Experiment 223 Reading: Rowling, J.K., Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 223 Reading: Baum, Frank L., selection from The Tin Woodsman of Oz 224 Reading: Tashlin, Frank, The Bear That Wasn't 225 Reading: Steig, William, Yellow and Pink 226 Reading: Lewis, C.S., The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe 227 Reading: Mills, Claudia, Dinah Forever 227 Bibliography 229

About the Author

David A. Shapiro is a full time faculty member in philosophy at Cascadia Community College and Education Director of the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children at the University of Washington. He has been doing philosophy with young people in kindergarten through high-school classrooms since he was a graduate student back in the 20th century.


Plato Was Wrong is full of stimulating activities that can help philosophy come alive for students from elementary school to college. With clear and easy-to-follow descriptions of how to implement each activity, the book is a valuable resource for active ways to engage young people in thinking about the large questions of philosophy. -- Jana Mohr Lone, director of the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children
Kudos to David Shapiro for this collection of wonderful philosophical exercises to engage in with students! Everyone who wants to encourage young people's interest in philosophy should run out and grab a copy of this book. They'll discover that Plato definitely was wrong and that philosophy can be fun at any age. -- Thomas E. Wartenberg

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