Philosophy is what's left when science has answered all the other questions.
STOP PRESS I: For more amazing thunks check out the recently published Book of Thunks - 260 questions to make your brain go ouch!
STOP PRESS II: For more thunks in action visit our new interactive 'thunking' website www.thunks.co.uk
STOP PRESS III: See 'thunking' in action! DVD of Ian Gilbert and an unsuspecting Year 6 group recorded live during the Big Day of Independent Thinking now available. Click here for more information
Philosophy for Children is a great way of getting learners to think and these questions we've developed do the trick quickly, easily and effectively.
Not only that, they also hit all the right buttons in the National Primary Strategy 'Creative Thinking' strand where children are encouraged to 'generate imaginative ideas to stimuli'; 'look at and think about things differently and from other points of view' and 'ask "why", "how", "what if" or unusual questions'.
Try them on your class and see what happens - you'll be amazed where the ensuing conversations may lead.
Use them as a 'Question for the Day' across the school. (So much better than the more traditional 'Thought for the Day' - someone else's thought can often be a dead end, a question, however, is a starting point.) Click here to see how one innovative school in the North East is using Thunks and technology to get students - and teachers - thinking.
And remember, there are no right or wrong answers with these questions.
How liberating is that...?
Here are a selection of thunks we have used in schools - for another 260 of these powerful questions check out The Book Of Thunks recently published by Crown House.
- Is there more future or past?
- Is black a colour?
- If I switch the lights off does the wall change colour?
- Can you cast a shadow into a dark room?
- In a dark room what does a mirror reflect?
- Can you touch the wind?
- Can you touch a rainbow?
- Is a broken down car parked?
- Is there more happiness or sadness in the world?
- Can you feel happy and sad at the same time?
- If I read a comic in a shop without paying for it is that stealing?
- If I swap your pen for one exactly the same without telling you is that stealing?
- If I pick up your pen by mistake and put it in my bag is it stealing?
- If you ask me if I have your pen and I say no because I don’t think I have, is that lying?
- If we borrow every single book from a library is it still a library?
- If we move the entire school and everything and everybody in it to Africa would it still be the same school?
- If we took the school building and moved it to the other side of town but left the people and things exactly where they were where would the school be?
- Does lined paper weigh more than blank paper?
- Is it ever OK to cheat?
- Was Theseus a cheat in the labyrinth?
Have fun playing around with these 'thought hand grenades' as one teacher calls them. They do get children thinking deeply quickly
As one 'naughty' year-six girl said recently after an hour of working through 'Thunks' such as these - 'People say I haven't got a brain but I must have coz it hurts!'
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