Sunday, 18 August 2013

Philosophical Fairies...

This coming week our fairy project is going to really kick off - last week we put out an appetiser, to see if the children were interested in pursuing a fairy project... and yes, the children took to it straight away...

This coming week we will be entering a series of short (or maybe longish) philosophical dialogues around fairies. I have a new colleague this term, not new to the preschool but we are new to be working together with this group - and Ellen is the resident philosopher at the preschool, so I am really excited about the potential of our dialogues and our thinking...

There will be three sessions... and the ideas the children present and share with us will become the basis of the activities we will then pursue... it can really go anywhere... and that is what makes it so exciting, and nerve-wracking - working out how to extend their understanding of their ideas, as well as testing their theories and then returning to dialogue to refine their thoughts on fairies...

Ellen has e-mailed with the session ideas based on our planning meeting last week and this has got me even more excited - so ecited that I am going to share with you... here you get to see the whole process... our planning, our dialogues, our activities and reflections - the whole preject will find itself on these pages..

so here comes the dialogues to be... it will be interesting to see where the children will take us...

Philosophical discussions about fairies (elves - as the Swedish word for fairies is Älvor which is also the word for elves - and there is also the word Fé - as in the "tooth" fairy) +

Session 1.
Discuss the properties of fairies.
Questions: What is a fairy? What does a fairy look like? What does a fairy do? Where does a fairy come from?
Purpose: to think about the definition of fairy and what that means/doesn't mean. To discuss about the word fairy refers to in "reality". Everything that the children share is written down at the time on a large piece of paper and is saved.
Session 2.
Present a variety of images of different fairies and elves as well as images of people with wings, fairies without wings and other fairy like entities.
Question: which of the images is the most like a fairy?
Purpose: to discuss and think about what makes a fairy a fairy, what it takes for it not to be a fairy and why. Here the purpose is to also have the paper from the previous session about properties. This is to be able tocompare the images with the properties that are on the paper.
Question 2: Do the properties we decided upon last time agree with the image we have chosen this time?
Session 3.
Show the children images of themselves playing as fairies in the forest ( we are going to use some photo magic to add wings and fairy dust - see below as an example). Discuss fantasy and reality by talking about their experiences of playing fairies in the forest.
Question: where you really fairies when you were playing? Are there fairies for real? Was the play for real or pretend?
Purpose: to think and discuss about fantasy and reality, about play and stories in relation to fairytales and reality.


  1. Is a fairy only supposed to live in the forest? what happens if they live in the city? Are there fairies in the city? What is their purpose there? How do they live there? What do they do? We shall never forget our children lives in the city and I am sure they can find fairies even here.... ;)

    1. Of course - if the children answer that they can be found in the street, in our homes, in the city in general then we will pursue that straight away... but for now we will follow where the children say the fairies are found... we can later challenge their thoughts about other possibilities...
      thank you for the reminder!