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Zeno the Racing Tortoise
From Delphi the Dreamer


Delphi’s pet tortoise has always led a quiet and peaceful existence.  At least Delphi thought so, until one night when Zeno starts speaking to her.  It turns out he was once a famous racing tortoise, whatever that is, and even beat the legendary Achilles in a footrace across the beach.  Delphi hears his stories and, even using all the logic she knows, still can’t make sense of how a tortoise can outrun Achilles, and even flying arrows.  Delphi learns the meaning of the word ‘paradox’ as she takes on this famous ancient logical problem, inspired by Aesop’s fables and Greek philosophy.

This download consists of the Zeno the Racing Tortoise enquiry from Delphi the Dreamer.


This lesson focuses on the philosophical topic of epistemology – that is, what it means to know something.  It uses Zeno’s Paradox – a famous thought experiment from Ancient Greece to show that sometimes we can use reason and logic and still come to absurd conclusions.  The point of this story is to help children see that reason and logic are not fool-proof – we can still make mistakes with it, and therefore can be doubted.  It isn’t essential that the children understand every aspect of the tortoise’s story – it is enough to notice that the logic is confusing.  The lesson also helps children understand the difference between something that would, should and could be true – a handy way of analysing logic in a philosophical argument.  The story is also contains references to Aesop’s fables, a set of animal stories which were famous even in Delphi’s time.


  • The full colour e-book of Zeno the Racing Tortoise from Delphi the Dreamer, including guidance notes for teachers throughout.
  • Detailed lesson plan.
  • The newly updated Delphi Philosophy Enquiry Guide, a quick-start guide to teaching with Delphi Philosophy.
  • Picture slideshow, including all the questions and hand drawn and painted colour illustrations.
  • All the sentence stems and other resources ready to print off for your classroom.


Terms and Conditions apply.


Please note that due to disruption caused by Covid-19, we were unable to trial these resources as thoroughly as we usually would.  Therefore, materials may change in the future - but should the resources change substantially, we will be in touch and happy to send you an updated version.  We would also value your feedback in the ongoing development of these materials.

Zeno the Racing Tortoise - Enquiry Pack

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