How to use thinking circles


THERE IS an extensive ‘How to …’ section on the website that provides indispensable suggestions for doing P4C well. They are provided by contributors with many years of experience at philosophising with children. You can benefit from their work when you subscribe.

Thinking circles are graphic organisers that can serve several important purposes.

  1. To help pupils gather their ideas prior to choosing questions for an inquiry.
  2. To help teachers predict concepts, ideas and questions that may arise and to gather their own thoughts on a stimulus. As such, they are great planning tools

Thinking circles encourage private reflection on the concepts people see in stimulus material such as stories, poems, pictures or objects.

The discussion outcomes from individual thinking circles could be shared with others in small groups so they could compare interests, questions and notes before creating a ‘group question’ to go forward for consideration by the whole community. Thinking circles can also provide an effective focus for initial exploratory dialogue.

See the attached PDF file for a full explanation of how thinking circles work and a photocopiable template to use with your group.

Attached documents