Tweens (10-12)

Exploring Big Ideas

Exploring Big Ideas is a six-week philosophy program for kids. Using characters and images, the program aims to help children with communication and reasoning skills in a discussion-based class.

Advanced Planning

The learning outcomes for the program are for kids to:

  • explore philosophy with different crafts and activities
  • use philosophy to help improve communication skills
  • learn how to give strong reasonings behind opinions
  • work together to come to a shared answer

I started doing research and planning about a month in advance. The activities are adapted from "Philosophy for Young Children: A Practical Guide" and I got many great ideas from "Little Big Minds."

Since I created weekly lesson plans (attachments on the right sidebar), development of this program at other libraries shouldn’t take long.


We started promoting the event about a month in advance on our social media and in our newsletter. However, one of the main problems we had was engagement. Finding more ways to advertise would be a great aspect to add to this program.


All resources needed were already available at the library.

Day-of-event Activity

To set up for the event, I made sure I had a whiteboard to write on as well as paper, crayons and markers. The main activity was drawing and didn’t require many other things. There is only one staff member needed.


Program Execution

A max of five kids attended this program. The class always felt constructive, successful and kids loved the hands-on aspect. Parents and students told me they thought the class was a great idea.

I used the lesson plans as a guide, but adjusted them to the children's interests and what they wanted to discuss

In the six weeks of running the Exploring Big Ideas program, the greatest impact that I could observe was the kids getting to discuss and think about different concepts together. I think this class will only continue to serve as a great resource if it expands and is continued at more libraries.


I created basic lesson plans that focused on encouraging discussion. Just letting the kids speak with each other and encouraging them to give reasons for their answers created a great environment. 

I would advise letting the kids lead the discussion, even if it slightly deviates from the topic. Interacting and speaking about different problems is the basis of philosophy!

Supporting Materials