Imagine if you lived in a dark cave your entire life without ever leaving. Then one day you left and discovered for the first time things like grass, birds, ice cream and professional wrestling. Would you jump for joy or run back to embrace sweet darkness?
Plato is one of the best known philosophers and pretty easy for kids to read. He wrote in dialogue form which reads much like a play. Taken from The Republic, the Allegory of the Cave is presented by Socrates who compares our lives to being chained up in a cave with only shadows to watch on a wall. Kids will learn about being open minded, curious and how their thinking might be biased.
This lesson plan comprises 7 sessions — each of which can be completed in 20 to 30 minutes. Sessions include the following:
- Text of the Allegory of the Cave taken from Plato’s Republic re-styled for easier reading.
- Vocabulary exercises.
- Explanation of symbolism in the allegory and ties to modern applications.
- Socratic questions to start discussion.
- Example illustration and exercise for kids to draw their own interpretation of the allegory.
- Interactive game to re-enact the allegory.
- Finding adaptations of the allegory in movies.
- Brief stories from history of individuals who experience the perils described in the cave allegory.
- A guide for kids to conduct an interview that helps them practice summarizing what they’ve learned, asking thoughtful questions and active listening.
- Workbook activities that help solidify concepts learned from the allegory such as crossword, bingo, word find, decode the message.
- Available in printed soft-back or ebook. Both include a link to a printable PDF.
Get the Allegory of the Cave + 2 additional lessons on Aristotle & Descartes