Philosophy: Compassion
updated March 19, 2021

Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!

This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.

Philosophy lesson plans
for children

WHEN to teach Philosophy is a source of great contention; I leave it up to your discretion. I am comfortable teaching it in elementary and middle school. Others would insist high school.

Mission Statement - Consulting Services - Lending Library

Booklist: Essential Text

Little Big Minds: Sharing Philosophy with Kids

by Marietta McCarty

You will not be able to successfully teach children philosophy simply by looking at the booklist below; you will need her book (above) for her teaching tips, discussion questions, and exercises for

    The Topic,
    The Philosophers,
    Gratitude, and

Booklist: Resources

Marietta suggests the following:

The Goat Lady

Jane Bregoli

Zlata's Diary

Zlata Filipovic

The Essential Rumi, New Expanded Edition

trans. by Coleman Barks

Missa Gaia (CD)

Dreaming Blue: An Opera by Libby Larsen (CD)

The Ravi Shankar Collection: West Meets East - The Historic Shankar-Menuhin Sessions (CD)

The Best of George Harrison (CD)

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
"Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)"
"Think For Yourself"
"What is Life?"

Shankar Family and Friends (CD)

Twenty Years at Hull-House

Jane Addams

Peace and Bread in Time of War

Jane Addams

A Centennial Reader by Jane Addams

A Policy of Kindness

ed. by Sidney Piburn

The Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The Four Noble Truths

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Kundun (DVD)

rated PG-13

Seven Years in Tibet (DVD)

rated PG-13

I also recommend:

special Philosophy colored pencils: we use the Prismacolor Premier box of 72

The Three Questions

Jon J. Muth (I used this book to introduce the topic of Compassion)

The Brave Little Parrot

Rafe Martin (we may not be able to do everything but we do what we can)

One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference

Katie Smith Milway (for talking about one of my favorite charities: Kiva)

The Cat Who Went to Heaven

Elizabeth Coatsworth

looking in the newspaper for activities and events in your area at the time you teach Compassion

We did this in September 2017 in Carbondale IL:

The Concert for Bangladesh article (for teacher background)

Dreaming Blue opera website (for teacher background)

sharing information about the Jane Addams book award (here is the complete list of winners in a PDF)

I brought in some books I had on hand which have won this award (below) -- pass them around -- if any of the kids have read them they can discuss why they think these titles won and what they have to do with compassion and peace

I ended up getting several picture books which had been honored with the Jane Addams book award and grouping the kids in pairs one session, having them read the books together, and then sharing with the group what the book was about and why they thought it won. All four of these books are based on true stories:

I also used the local newspaper in our discussions of Compassion. On September 29, 2017 there were two articles from the Southern Illinoisan which I read aloud to the class ("Something from nothing: Group converts plastic bags into mats for homeless" and "Accessible nature: IDNR grant to fund improvements to nature preserve"). My daughter Becca had helped with the plastic bag crochet project, helping to cut and tie 'plarn' and she was proud to share her experience. We also had a student whose grandfather uses a wheelchair and he was happy to hear about the trail at Chautauqua Bottoms Nature Preserve being made ADA-friendly.

On September 30, there was an article showing the other side, a LACK of compassion. This article came from the Associated Press, which means that it was run nationally. It was called "Yellow wristbands, segregation for Florida homeless in Irma."

Finland is starting a national experiment to try and prove a basic income doesn't make people lazy - January 4, 2017 article on Universal Basic Income (teacher background)

Finland trials basic income for unemployed

Blog posts from when I was teaching this topic:

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