Adult/Facilitators preparation What are your thoughts about the stimulus ? Thinking about this first will help you facilitate the inquiry.
Read this paragraph from Peter Pan
“It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning…
It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents , wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. …
I don’t know whether you have ever seen a map of a person’s mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a Map of a child’s mind. These maps are of course, the Neverlands”
Exercise ..Draw a map of your adult mind and of your childlike mind. What differences are there and why? Would you prefer an adult mind or a child’s mind?
In the classroom
You will need…
A copy of the text from Peter Pan
An enlarged copy of the following letter in an envelope
A selection of empty boxes and blank paper for labels
Pens and paper or thinking journals for the children to plan their ideas
Read the paragraph from the story of Peter Pan to the class.
Explain that the class has received a letter from Mrs Darling about sorting her children’s thoughts. Present and read the following letter…..
Tonight I have a big job to do. As you know every night as you fall asleep it is someone’s job to sort through your minds and have a good sort out. Tonight I must rummage around in Wendy, John and Michael’s minds. There are so many thoughts, ideas and questions that they are getting quite muddled up.
I wonder what I will find? What do you children find to think about all day ?
Please could you help me? I would like to organise the things I find into boxes so I can keep the things or throw them away. Can you label the boxes for me according to the sorts of things I might find. Maybe you could decorate them and feel free to add the contents of your own minds too.
First thoughts…Ask the children to share ideas about things they think about
Practical Thinking Time .…Allow time for children to draw pictures of what their minds might look like.
Bring these drawings back to the Community of inquiry.
Ask the group to decide on labels for the boxes. What categories of thoughts did you find in your brains? Ensure children give examples of what these are.
- Puzzling questions,
- Bad thoughts,
- Good thoughts,
Ask the children to create questions about their minds.
Ask children to respond to questions they have ideas about.
Encourage development of these ideas.
Facilitation ….Thoughtful questions
Is the mind different from the brain?
Are our thoughts unique?
Would we become someone different if we had a brain transplant?
Is a feeling different from a thought?
Could we swap a brain with a computer and still have thoughts?
Do we ever forget thoughts?
Where do thoughts come from and where do they go?
If we had no language what we be able to think?
What would thoughts look like if we had no words to describe them?
Can we ever think about nothing?
Ask each child to write their name on a piece of paper and place it in the labelled box that best describes what their thoughts are after the inquiry. Which box has the most names in and why?
The boxes can be used in further thinking activities. Children could write ideas or questions they wish to explore in future philosophy sessions.