Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Share It : Philosophy for Kids

Guest blogger, Rochelle A., is the mother of 6 children, ages 6-18.

image via bn.com

Little Big Minds, by Marietta McCarty is a wonderful book on getting kids into Philosophy; it has a world of ideas for summer reading, listening, doing, creating, experimenting and getting kids talking about their "big" ideas. Each chapter highlights a philosophical idea to be shared with children and includes background on the philosophers who explored the idea, music and literature that explore it, and even a craft or experiment or creative expression of the idea, all with ideas for discussion and exploration specifically for kids.

I am really excited about sharing the ideas with all of my kids-from the 6-year-old, to the 18-year-old.

Here is a sampling of some of the chapters:
Chaper 1: Idea-Philosophy. Philosophers-Socrates and Plato. Music-Haydn's Symphony #22. Literature-Saint Exupery's "Little Prince", Emily Dickenson and William Carlos Williams (of "The Red Wheelbarrow"). Experiment-Taste Testing (exploring how each child describes the taste in a way that is as unique as they are).

Chapter 2: Idea-Friendship, Philosophers-Karl Jaspers, the apostle Paul, existential ideas. Music-Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" and "Friend of Mine" by Kate Wolf. Literature-"The Centaur" by May Swenson from the collection Cage of Spies, Joyful Noise, Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman and Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss. Topics for discussion include the art of listening and an exploration of bullying.

Other ideas (chapters) that children and parents can explore together include: Responsibility, Happiness, Justice, Time, Courage, Death, Prejudice, God, Humanity, Nature, Compassion, Freedom, Love and Thanksgiving.

Check out Ms. McCarty's site at http://www.littlebigminds.com/.

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