A Tin of Thunks®

By: Ian Gilbert


£9.98


Size: Tin: 80 x 108 x 27mm Cards: 68 x 98mm

ISBN : 9781781353431

Format: CARD

Published: November 2019


Can a robot be kind? Can you touch the wind? Is there more future than past?

Since publishing The Little Book of Thunks over a decade ago, Ian Gilbert’s ‘beguilingly simple-looking questions’ have caused brain ache across the world in children, young people and the wider school community. Born out of Ian’s work in Philosophy for Children, questions like those posed above leave everyone thinking new thoughts about everyday life, love, the things around us and the world beyond.

Whereas a right answer is a thinking cul-de-sac, a Thunk has no one right answer. And without that – and without the fear that many people have of coming up with wrong answers – all that remains is the opportunity for thinking, reflecting, philosophising, debating, thinking new thoughts and rethinking old ones.

Such is the power of a Thunk. Now, for the first time, 50 of these probing provocations are presented in a brand new format – on a specially designed set of cards for use in a range of fun and innovative ways, both inside and outside the classroom.

Caution: Reported side effects of Thunks include thinking, creativity, talking, arguing, changing your mind and brain ache.

A complete downloadable list of suggested activities comes with the card set – here are a select few:

- Stick a Thunk on a wall/board/large piece of paper and get the class to write their responses and why they think that way around it.

- Allocate a ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Other’ response to individuals or groups before the Thunk is revealed. They then have to argue their case accordingly.

- Give each pupil a random card. Give them 15 minutes to produce an artistic interpretation of the dilemma covered by their Thunk. Make a class Thunks display for use in future lessons.

- Find some space, read out a Thunk and give the class the choice of standing on one side if they think ‘Yes’, the opposite side if they think ‘No’ and in the middle if they think ‘Other’. Get each faction to come up with the reasons why the others are wrong, in order to persuade them to defect to their side.


Picture for author Ian Gilbert

Ian Gilbert

Since establishing Independent Thinking 25 years ago, Ian Gilbert has made a name for himself across the world as a highly original writer, editor, speaker, practitioner and thinker, and is someone who the IB World magazine has referred to as one of the world's leading educational visionaries.

The author of several books, and the editor of many more, Ian is known by thousands of teachers and young people across the world for his award-winning Thunks books. Thunks grew out of Ian's work with Philosophy for Children (P4C), and are beguiling yet deceptively powerful little philosophical questions that he has created to make children's ' as well as their teachers' ' brains hurt.

Ian's growing collection of bestselling books has a more serious side too, without ever losing sight of his trademark wit and straight-talking style. The Little Book of Bereavement for Schools, born from personal family experience, is finding a home in schools across the world, and The Working Class ' a massive collaborative effort he instigated and edited ' is making a genuine difference to the lives of young people from some of the poorest backgrounds.

A unique writer and editor, there is no other voice like Ian Gilbert's in education today.

See for yourself.

Ian was winner of The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society's inaugural Educational Writers Award (Nov 2008) for 'The Little Book of Thunks' - Click here for more information on the book.

Re-framing the Education Debate with Independent Thinker, Ian Gilbert.

Click here to read Ian's article in International Teacher Magazine.


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