Teaching with Delphi

Children discussing philosophy in class

How does it work?

Delphi the Philosopher is a philosophy class novel for primary age children – written so that all the essential questions and discussions are built into an engaging and exciting story.  It is written with the 7-11 age group in mind, though may also be appropriate for other age groups.


The accompanying scheme of work is written to delve deeper into Delphi’s story and develop specific thinking skills but much of the benefit of the scheme can be gained by simply using the story as a class novel.  Each lesson and chapter focuses on different thinking skills, such as asking questions, giving reasons or discussing abstract ideas. 


By reading aloud the story and leading children through the questions and activities that accompany it, you will lead children in developing increasingly more sophisticated thinking skills.


What do the children learn?

What are sentence stems?

Delphi Philosophy is all about developing children's listening, questioning, reasoning and explaining skills - as well as all the benefits that come from teaching philosophy.


The story and the questions it contains are based around a skills progression framework that ensures children make progress.  At the start of the story, the children learn simple skills like asking 'why' questions or using 'because' to give reasons.  By the end they will have progressed to be able to evaluate philosophical arguments and present their own ideas!  But it doesn't matter your starting point - all the questions in the scheme are easy to access but challenging enough to suit any more experienced philosopher.

To support children in making this progress, we have a secret weapon: sentence stems!


These are the structure of sentences we use to express what we are thinking.  For example, we might say ‘I agree with that because…’ or ‘If … then …’  Sentence stems are used to help the children express what they are thinking in a clear and logical way.  The guidance notes alongside the story will show you when to use a sentence stem and some examples - you'll find everything you need in the Delphi the Philosopher resources. 

Use the links below to explore more about Delphi Philosophy!


What makes Delphi special?
Why teach philosophy?
What does it look like?
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