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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Philosophy and Shel Silverstein Post 3

Katy Ramsey
Philosophy Blog post 3

Philosophy and Shel Silverstein 

Today marks the finishing of our discussion of Shel Silverstein, and how his work often explains Philosophical terms and ideas. As a wonderful poet, Shel addresses controversial, and complex topics....wording and describing them in a way young children can understand. His poems also allow for an open ended discussion on Philosophy. 

Another poem by Silverstein that can be used when teaching youngsters the basics of Philosophy, is: 



This poem can be paired with our poems from the last post, and be used when teaching children to think for themselves. Instead of being another voice, telling youngsters what they can/should and can't/shouldn't do, let them hear and read this poem. Ponder it a bit. Then ask them what it means to them. Have open ended questions that gets them thinking and asking their own questions. 

Another great poem to use would be:


She had blue skin,
And so did he. 
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by--
And never knew.

This poem would be great to use after the children have had a lesson on self identity. Once they feel like they have their own opinions, it is important to teach them not to hide those ideas and inner questions. 

The great thing about Silverstein is his cute, fun and Philosophical poems. Using any of his books would be a great place to introduce young children to the wonderful world of Philosophy, and create a 'question-asking' individual. Viewing the world through our own lenses, and not ones pre-prescribed by others, allows a uniqueness that can have a major impact on others. 

Pick up a Shel Silverstein book today, and see for yourself!! 
I'll end with my favorite poem by Silverstein:







1 comment:

  1. Totally agree: poetry & literature are great portals to philosophy. It's all about imagination and the ability to think beyond the bare given facticity of the world. Most kids are gifted with that ability, 'til the schools train it out of them. But one good teacher or involved parent or children's author can undo so much institutional damage.

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