Philosophy for Children is an approach and activity that encourages deep thinking and supports children in co-constructing meaning about an issue, topic or concept. Our philosophy sessions give children the opportunity to question and explore concepts that are relevant to their lives and current areas of group inquiry.
There are many ways of making meaning and representing thinking, and oral language is one of them. Through our Philosophy for Children sessions, children gain confidence and skills in expressing themselves through oral language, also developing their capacities as respectful listeners.
After creating watercolour portraits of our families last week, we sat in a circle to discuss the following question: Why do you think families are important? As with all of our philosophy sessions, we lit a candle in the middle of our circle to help us concentrate and be peaceful.
As part of our 'Who We Are' unit of inquiry, we have been exploring who we each are as individuals through the line of inquiry 'Who I Am'. Since the beginning of the year, we have been investigating our physical features, likes, dislikes, and favourite things and activities and have worked on representing these in different ways. Recently we have been making connections between our unique selves and the people around us, including friends and family.
We practiced sketching what we saw with pencil and charcoal.
We spent many days continuing to study, describe, and discuss the features of our faces. We found similarities and differences between our physical features and learned new words to describe ourselves. We then represented this knowledge in a different way, using the digital tool Make a Face from ABCYa!
Next we spent time exploring and representing our whole bodies, experimenting with clay and clay tools as "languages" for self-expression.
For several weeks, we used our varieties of self-portraits as provocations for self-description and analysis. We used the physical pieces to explore more conceptual understandings, like individuality and personal preference.
Finally, we worked on combining the information and ideas we had explored through self-portraits in one final piece: a whole body representation. One morning we took turns tracing our bodies on big pieces of white paper. These tracings became canvases for us to document what we now knew about our physical features, personal preferences, and connections to family. Our collage approach demonstrated the interconnection between these things and how all these aspects combine together to make us 'Who We Are'.
As our unit of inquiry continues, we have also continued to add to our whole body representations, always deepening and extending our understandings of 'Who We Are' and how the people around us play a role in shaping this.
After we had all written our names, we lined them up from shortest to longest. How many letters are in your name? Do you think your name is short or long?
We are a group of Kindergarten 1 students at an IB World School in Singapore. Our teacher is Miss Alison. Follow us on our blog and Twitter to see how much we're learning and growing!
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