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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.”)

Feel free to download and use our lesson plans in your classroom. This document has many lesson plans and covers a wide variety of topics within philosophy: Philosophy for Children Lesson Plans

Can’t find the resources you are looking for? Need more books within a particular category? Leave us a comment using the Outreach Feedback Form and we will upload more resources to fit your needs as soon as possible.

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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