Children’s Book Philosophy Essay

1151 words - 5 pages

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”

One might say children’s books are not philosophical in nature; however, I beg to differ. I found that the story line of Oh, The Places You’ll Go! provides readers with a philosophical background. The author, Dr. Seuss, composed rhymes that provide readers with an insight of their future success. Although Seuss did not know the future every reader, he did know the philosophical background of life and success in general. Seuss’ philosophical knowledge can be observed all throughout his books; however, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! provides the greatest philosophical descriptions. While reading Oh, The Places You’ll Go! the reader is constantly asking themselves what does it mean to be successful. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! constantly reminds its readers that the possibility of being successful is possible. However, being successful is determined by the path that one might choose. In turn, reaching thus goal is not always easy. I chose Oh, The Places You’ll Go! because its text is so powerful. All throughout the book the reader is not only presented with thoughts and questions of success, but also with the powerful journey of life.
A successful teacher could use this book to promote philosophical thinking within her classroom. After reading aloud Oh, The Places You’ll Go! a discussion might form in hopes to formulate philosophical thinking. I have provided a list of philosophical questions that the teacher could use to facilitate discussions within her classroom.

 What does success mean?
 What does it take to be successful?
 Is everyone successful? If so, are they successful in the same way?
 “You have brains in your head. You have feet is your shoes.” Who gave you these resources?
 What resources do you need to be successful? Are they the same for everyone?
 Have you ever felt alone? What made you feel this way?
 Does everyone feel alone?
 Does everyone have the same feelings as you? If so, at the same time?
 What is a slump?
 Can you every “get out” of a slump?
 How can you “get out” of a slump?
 What scares you? How to you deal with this fear?
 How do you face problems? How do you know you’re prepared?
 What is right and wrong?
 Can you get right and wrong mixed up?
 What is the “Great Balancing Act”?

These are just a few of many questions that could lead a classroom discussion after the reading of Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, Even though the book is suitable to read aloud to all ages, its concepts are for the more advanced age levels. Teachers need to be mindful of the questions they use to propel their discussion, based on the grade level they are teaching. Choosing question may be a bit challenging for primary grades; however, it is possible if the teacher keeps their expectations in mind.
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