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This list of books is separated by sections, Grades K-5, Grades 6-8,  Grades 9-12, and Independent Study. Within each section you will find a list of books organized by author with a brief summary of each entry. The title of each book links to a page in Google Books that gives more information (and usually a preview) about the book as well as links to purchase the book from a variety of vendors (under the tab on the left of the page “Get this book in print.”)

 

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Teaching Philosophy in Elementary Schools (Grades: K-5)

Costello, Peter. Philosophy in Children’s Literature. Lexington Books. 2011

  • This book is a guide for finding the philosophical points in common children’s stories such as Horton Hears A Who, The Giving Tree, andMrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

 

Wartenberg, Thomas. Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy through Children’s Literature. Rowman & Littlefield Pub Incorporated. 2009.

  • This book explains the importance of introducing philosophy to young children and gives advice on how to incorporate philosophical discussion into the classroom.

 

Zubay, Bongsoon; Soltis, Jonas. Creating the Ethical School: A Book of Case Studies. Teachers College Press. 2005

  • This book is a K-12 teaching resource that includes case studies and resources for instructors broken down by grade level.

 

Teaching Philosophy in Middle Schools (Grades: 6-8)

Costello, Peter. Philosophy in Children’s Literature. Lexington Books. 2011

  • This book is a guide for finding the philosophical points in common children’s stories such as Horton Hears A Who, The Giving Tree, andMrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

 

White, David. Philosophy for Kids: 40 Fun Questions That Help You Wonder… About Everything! Prufrock Press Inc. 2000

  • This book (aimed at ages 10+) is broken down into questions about some of the common themes in philosophy such as: Can Computers Think? This book also includes teaching tips.

 

Zubay, Bongsoon; Soltis, Jonas. Creating the Ethical School: A Book of Case Studies. Teachers College Press. 2005

  • This book is a K-12 teaching resource that includes case studies and resources for instructors broken down by grade level.

 

Teaching Philosophy in High Schools (Grades: 9-12)

Gaarder, Jostein. Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy. Macmillan. 2007

  • Sophie’s World is somewhat of an anomaly within the culture of philosophy books because it is a novel. As such, some may consider it easier to read because it includes not only a catalog of the major thinkers throughout the history of philosophy but also elements of mystery-fiction to hold a reader’s attention.

 

Kaye, Sharon; Thomson, Paul. Philosophy for Teens: Questioning Life’s Big Ideas. Prufrock Press. 2006.

  • This book analyzes important philosophical issues from a teenage perspective. In addition to discussing the views of several famous philosophers, this book includes activities and discussion questions to stimulate thought.

 

Kaye, Sharon; Thomson, Paul. More Philosophy for Teens: Examining Reality and Knowledge. Prufrock Press. 2007.

  • This is an expansion on the original Philosophy for Teens (above) and explores some some more deep questions such as: What is Reality?

 

Law, Stephen. The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking.Macmillan. 2003.

  • The Philosophy Gym uses simple language to talk about some of the deep debates in the history of philosophy that are still important in modern philosophy. It also includes a brief section on logical reasoning and paradoxes.

 

Zubay, Bongsoon; Soltis, Jonas. Creating the Ethical School: A Book of Case Studies. Teachers College Press. 2005

  • This book is a K-12 teaching resource that includes case studies and resources for instructors broken down by grade level.

 

Additional Literature for Independent/Additional Learning

Gert, Bernard. Common Morality: Deciding What to Do. Oxford University Press, USA. 2004

  • Common Morality takes a “common-sense” approach to ethics and discusses claims that are generally universally agreed upon (such as “do not kill”). This book is written very informally so it is a good read for a person without a background in philosophy.

 

Mogck, Brian David. Writing to Reason: A Companion for Philosophy Students and Instructors. John Wiley & Sons. 2008

  • This book is a comprehensive text that explains the principles of writing philosophy and objecting to written philosophy. It also includes more general advice such as “how to succeed in a philosophy class.”

 

Sandel, Michael. Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?.

  • This book discusses many of the pressing ethical questions of today such as: abortion, same-sex marriage, and affirmative action. It also outlines and critiques some classical philosophical views on justice.

 

Weston, Anthony. A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox. Oxford University Press, USA. 2007

  • This book discusses the different methods for discussing ethics as they apply to a range of modern cases such as abortion and food choices. It also includes advice to teachers for how to use this book in the classroom.

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