The (honest to goodness) truth!

Philosophy throughout the past three weeks has connected to a provocation  – ‘what is stranger than fiction?’ where our 456 SNC philosophers have been discussing the concept of ‘truth’.

We started with a story ‘The Honest To Goodness Truth’ by Patricia Mckissak and Giselle Potter. It is about a girl who decides to only tell the truth. Students brainstormed key questions they had from the text before choosing one they felt was the most ‘open’, ‘big’ or philosophical. See below:


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Our questions:

What would have happened if she never told the truth? (Vaibhav and Phoenix)

What happens if her classmates didn’t forgive her? If Libby had a sibling, how would the story be different? (Veronica and Ethan)

When you lie, what makes you feels so bad about it? Does knowing that you haven’t done something or forgotten something make you feel embarrased  and so you get mad or angry if someone tells you the truth? (Cali and Marlia)

Would anyone get hurt if the truth was nice instead of hurtful? Has she ever told a lie to be nice and not nasty? (Njarala and Abbie)

What would be the book if there was a part 2? (Ryaan and Tom S.)

Is it better to always lie or always tell the truth? (Matt and Luca)

Would anyone feel hurt if the truth was nice? (Elsie and Bea)

Was this from an honest or dishonest author? (Nami or Atticus)

What did the author have in mind when writing the book – what was the message that was intended? What would have happened if nobody had corrected her for being mean? When does telling the truth become being mean? (Heidi, Lina and Emily)

How do we know it’s ‘the truth?’ (Ciel)

Why didn’t they show Libby’s dad? Did Libby lie again? If so, how old was she? (Polly and Elli)

If being mean can be linked to telling the truth, then is lying instantly connected to being nice? (Fraser and Jude)

Why wouldn’t you expect your friends to tell your secrets if you told theirs? (Fletcher and Fred)

What did it mean ‘the honest to goodness truth? If Libby had not told the truth, how would the story go? (Ted and Winnie)

Why are people so sensitive to the truth? (Rupert and Peter)

Who is Mrs Washington? (Flint and Axel)

If Mrs Tusselberry said that Libby needed to tell the truth all the time, and Libby did tell the truth. Why was Mrs Tusselberry angry, even though she wanted the truth for her question? (Jackson)

I wonder what would happen if she didn’t lie? (Ben and Max)

Does Libby have any other family apart from her mum? (Ava and Mia R)

How did Libby’s mother know she was lying? (Tom U and Luke)

Some of these questions will be used to stimulate further inquiry questions into term 2.

And for more on a recent philosophy session, click here.

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